WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) expressed his strong support this week for Senate legislation (S.Res.307) commemorating United States participation in the Genocide Convention, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“S.Res 307 is an important statement of Congress’s enduring support for the Genocide Convention, ” said Sen. Feingold. “As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs, I am convinced that we must remember the horrors of past genocides and commit ourselves to taking concrete steps to prevent such atrocities in the future,” he added.
S.Res.307 specifically recognizes the Armenian Genocide, along with the Holocaust and the Rwandan and Cambodian genocides. It makes note of the fact that, despite the international community’s consensus against genocide, “denial of past instances of genocide continues and many thousands of innocent people continue to be victims of genocide.” This legislation has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT).
“We applaud Senator Feingold’s leadership on the protection of human rights and his advocacy for international recognition and accountability for genocide,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We share his concerns and join with him in supporting this legislation as a meaningful step toward ensuring that the lessons of past genocides are used to help bring about a future free from genocide.”
As Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs, Sen. Feingold has been an outspoken supporter for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Upon his return from a recent visit to the ICTR, Sen. Feingold commented on the “tremendous progress being made and the groundbreaking legal precedents being set with regards to genocide being seen by the international community as a crime against humanity.”
Throughout his years in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Feingold has been a consistent supporter of efforts to secure official U.S. recognition for the Armenian Genocide. “Since I became a member of the U.S. Senate, I have strived to make the protection of basic human rights and accountability for such atrocities worldwide a cornerstone in American foreign policy, ” said Sen. Feingold during a floor statement commemorating the 87th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Among the groups in support of S. Res. 307 are the Lao Human Rights Council; Campaign to End Genocide; Cambodian Association of America; American Hellenic Media Project; Christian Solidarity International, and a broad range of Armenian American organizations, including the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics; Armenia Fund USA; Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council; Armenian Bar Association; Armenian Council of America; Armenian National Committee of America; Armenian Relief Society; Armenian Youth Federation; Armenian Cultural and Educational Association (Hamazkayn); Homenetmen Armenian General Athletic Union; Land and Culture Organization; National Organization of Republican Armenians; Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church (East and West), and; Tekeyan Cultural Association.