ANCA Criticizes Turkey for Blocking UN Exhibit On The Rwanda Genocide

WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America Tuesday sharply condemned the Turkish government for blocking the opening of a United Nations exhibit on the Rwanda Genocide due to an indirect mention of the Armenian Genocide in one of the exhibit’s display panels. "Sadly, this is only the most recent example of how Turkey’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide perpetuates the cycle of genocide – making the world a more dangerous place and future genocides more likely," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. The Associate Press reported earlier today that the United Nations, bowing to Turkish protests, has delayed the opening of the exhibit, organized by the Aegis Trust, in the international organization’s highly trafficked visitor’s lobby. The Turkish mission had specifically registered its objections to a reference in the exhibit concerning the origin of the word "genocide," which mentioned that Raphael Lemkin, the international lawyer and human rights activist who coined this term, was influenced by the crimes committed against the Armenia’s and other mass killings. Commenting on the exhibit’s postponement, James Smith, the chief executive of the British-based Aegis Trust, said, "If we can’t get this right, it undermines all the values of the U.N. It undermines everything the U.N. is meant to stand for in terms of preventing (genocide). . . You can’t learn the lessons from history if you’re going to sweep all of that history under the carpet. And what about accountability? What about ending impunity if you’re going to hide part of the truth? It makes a mockery of all of this."

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