BRUSSELS–The European Armenian Federation presented its views on a series of cultural and human rights issues at a forum of the Convention on the Future of Europe–held on June 24-25th–reported the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (formerly ANC Europe). The forum included speakers from a host of non-government organizations (NGO) from throughout Europe discussing matters related to civil society and the future structure of Europe.
During earlier meetings–the NGO’s participating in this forum had created eight contact groups which would deal with various issues relating to the construction of Europe.
The European Armenian Federation was one of the first non-government organizations to submit concrete proposals to the Convention on the Future of Europe–discussed and reviewed by the contact groups dealing with cultural issues and human rights.
"Our proposals focused on certain judicial tools that can be used to establish and promote human rights–including EU ratification of the International Criminal Court status or the drawing up of a European jurisdiction on the defense and the denial of Genocides" explained European Armenian Federation Executive Director Laurent Leylekian.
"We also proposed advances in the field of cultural democracy–such with as the ratification of the European Convention for the Protection of Minorities or the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages."
These views–which stem directly from the E.A.F.J.D. proposals–were put forward during the presentations to the Convention’s Members by the spokespersons appointed by the contact groups and in particular by Laetitia Sdou–representing the World Organization against Torture (OMCT)–Sophia Spiliotopoulos from the Southern Europe Women’s Association (AFEM) and by Bojan Brezigar representing the European Bureau for the Less-Used Languages (EBLUL).
"We were happy to have our proposals heard by the Convention members. If the values underlying the Armenian Cause were not the European values–it would not have been possible. For the same reason–we think that the Convention members will welcome them and integrate them in their global project for society," noted Leylekian.
Also during the meeting–the European Armenian Federation organized an information booth which proved to be an excellent place for an exchange of views between the Convention members and the members of the NGOs.
Following these crucial days this latest forum–the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy will continue working with the NGO’s involved in these issues in order to promote key human rights concerns at the Convention on the Future of Europe.