Twenty years ago, on June 18, 1987, the European Parliament became the first major international body to recognize the Armenian Genocide, during its plenary session in Strasbourg, voting on a momentous resolution paving the way "for a political solution of the Armenian issue." After extensive deliberations and resisting immense pressures from Turkey and its hired guns, the European legislators set the record straight on this first genocide of modern times and delivered a landmark victory for justice that Armenia’s in Europe and, indeed, all over the world have been fighting for.
To mark this important anniversary, and to re-think the goals of the task ahead, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy announces the Second Convention of European Armenia’s, which will take place on October 15-16, 2007 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Twenty years after this historic accomplishment, and fifteen years after the re-birth of Armenian independence, the Convention will gather European Armenian grass-roots organizations and prominent personalities from all corners of Europe to focus on the current political priorities of the European Armenian community ranging from Turkey’s European ambitions while persistently denying the Armenian Genocide and persecuting its minorities to Turkey’s continuing blockade of Armenia, the Karabakh negotiations, the European neighborhood policies in the region and the prospects of peace and stability in South Caucasus.
The Federation recalls that a key conclusion of the 1987 resolution made clear in no uncertain terms that "the refusal by the present Turkish Government to acknowledge the genocide against the Armenian people committed by the Young Turk government, its reluctance to apply the principles of international law to its differences of opinion with Greece, the maintenance of Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and the denial of existence of the Kurdish question, together with the lack of true parliamentary democracy and the failure to respect individual and collective freedoms, in particular freedom of religion, in that country are insurmountable obstacles to consideration of the possibility of Turkey’s accession to the [European] Community."
"Today, twenty years after the passage of the resolution of 18 June 1987, this paragraph could be restated word for word by the Parliament without the slightest hesitation", declared Hilda Tchoboian, the Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation. "The European leadership should take note of the fact that in twenty years Turkey has shown no evidence of progress on any of the stated issues," she added.
The Second Convention of European Armenia’s will pay a vibrant tribute to all the key leaders of 1987 who acted courageously to deliver the Parliament’s historic decision. Paule Duport, Henri Saby, Ernest Glinne, Alfred Coste-Floret( ), Ren? Piquet, Jaak Vandemeulebroucke, Stan Newens, Francis Wurtz and all others who carried the torch through painful deliberations. "As citizens of modern Europe, it is our privilege to honour these MEP’s, visionary men and women, who voted their conscience on that day and positioned the Parliament at the most revered ethical standards of European values," concluded Hilda Tchoboian.