ANTELIAS (AP)–Commemorating the early 20th century death of hundreds of thousands of Armenia’s in Ottoman Turkey–the spiritual leader of about 2 million survivors and their descendants on April 23–urged international action to prevent future genocide.
His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of Cilicia–said the world should impose economic sanctions–"and in extreme situations–engage in humanitarian intervention" to stop mass killings.
"These are the most efficient ways of preventing genocide," he told a two-day conference organized by his church.
Speaking at the opening session of the conference on Thursday–Aram I also announced the establishment of an International Center for Dialogue–Peace and Human Rights–to be based at his seat in the northern Beirut suburb of Antelias.
The International Conference on Genocide–Impunity and Justice brought together Lebanese Cabinet ministers–lawmakers–religious leaders from other sects–and foreign scholars and diplomats.
Speakers focused on the inadequacy of existing international criminal laws in dealing with mass killings–which mostly go unpunished. The speakers included UN human rights and world court officials–as well as a presidential representative from Rwanda–where the world’s latest genocide a decade ago killed nearly 800,000 people.