Papian, Experts Discuss Legal Powers of Treaty of Sevres

GLENDALE, CA–Ara Papian, an international law specialist and the foremost expert on the Treaty of Sevres, spoke to a packed audience at the Glendale Public Library on Saturday, October 2, about the ramifications of implementing the Treaty of Sevres in the international arena.

The event was organized by the United Commemorative Committee, a coalition of leading community organizations, coordinating Armenian Genocide commemorative events in Southern California.

Also speaking at the presentation were California Courier Publisher and Lincy Foundation Vice President Harut Sassounian, AEF Chair of Armenian Studies Dr. Richard Hovannisian, and Woodrow Wilson decedent and head of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Donald Wilson Bush. Representatives from the traditional Armenian political parties also presented on the issue.

The speakers discussed the modern day application of the treaty and the need to collaborate with international legal experts to ascertain the exact legal power of the document. Key to the presentation was an emphasis on the Republic of Armenia’s vital role in advancing the Armenian people’s historic claims through international courts of law.

The Treaty of Sevres was signed after the Armenian Genocide at the end of World War I on August 10 1920, between the Ottoman Empire and Allied powers. The international document recognized the then Democratic Republic of Armenia and mandated that the frontiers of Armenia and a new Turkish state be fixed in the provinces of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis through an arbitration award by the US President Woodrow Wilson.

Sevres empowered Wilson’s award to be binding  with or without treaty ratification, but the Allied Powers failed to implement its decisions and instead signed new treaties that recognized a Turkish Republic that encompassed must of its former Ottoman territories, including those  awarded to Armenia.

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