The ARF Takes Part in the 25th Socialist International Congress in Colombia

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Congress Adopts Armenian Genocide Resolution; ARF Representative Mario Nalpatian Re-Elected SI Vice President

CARTAGENA, Colombia (A.W.)—More than 80 political parties and 350 delegates and guests—including representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)—participated in the 25th Congress of the Socialist International (SI) hosted by the ruling Colombian Liberal Party in Cartagena on March 2-4.

The ARF delegation was led by SI Vice President and ARF representative Mario Nalpatian and included Vache Thomassian (U.S.) and Hagop Agopian (Canada).

The ARF delegation was led by SI Vice President and ARF Representative Mario Nalpatian and included Vache Thomassian (U.S.) and Hagop Agopian (Canada).

The opening of the meeting included remarks by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, SI President George Papandreou (Greece), SI Secretary General of the Luis Ayala (Chile), and the Co-chair of the Colombian Liberal Party Horacio Serpa.

The theme of the Congress was “For a world with peace, equality, and solidary.” One of the sessions was entitled “Building a more peaceful world: resolving conflicts and preventing new ones,” during which Nalpatian provided his remarks.

In his address, Nalbandian referred to the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) conflict, stressing Azerbaijan’s constant violation of the ceasefire and the need to suspend armament. He also noted the situation in Turkey and the persecution and widespread imprisonment of the leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) by Turkish authorities.

The Congress made a series of decisions in accordance to Nalpatian’s address and resolutions submitted by the ARF. The resolution entitled “For a world of peace, equality, and solidary,” which was adopted by the Congress, included the following three points:

  1. We stand in solidarity with the Armenian people seeking dialogue with Turkey and we will continue to help, as agreed, to organize a roundtable “How Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide can contribute to a genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia?”
  2. The Socialist International calls for increased dialogue to end hostilities, reduce tensions and armaments, and build trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We call on the international community to support the ongoing efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group to work towards lasting peace in the region.
  3. The Socialist International expresses our concern about the violation of human rights and deterioration of democracy in Turkey. We are particularly concerned about the arrest of thousands of activists, the detention of hundreds of elected municipal leaders, and the detention of [HDP co-chairs] Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. We call for their release and for new peace dialogues to address the democratic and human rights development of Turkey.

In addition, a separate resolution entitled “Initiative of the Socialist International Regarding the Armenian Genocide” was passed.

The following is the text of the resolution:

After the last Socialist International Congress, the world marked the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and witnessed a number of new countries, heads of state, and international organizations officially recognizing this crime against all humanity.

The 2014 Dec. SI Council Meeting in Geneva, recognizing the continued worldwide progress on this human rights and Genocide prevention issue, appropriately placed the Armenian Genocide on the agenda of its first Council in 2015, held one hundred years after the start of this atrocity.

The July 2015 Council Meeting in New York endorsed an agreement reached earlier by the SI Vice-Presidents from Armenia and Turkey, for the Socialist International to organize a special hearing or round-table discussion around the theme: “Would Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide allow for a genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia?” This Meeting was to have included the participation of representatives of SI member parties in both Armenia and Turkey, as well as other interested member parties, specially invited experts, NGOs, and others.

Consistent with both past decisions on this matter and the SI’s longstanding support for a just resolution on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, the SI XXV Congress reaffirms its readiness to work with our Armenian and Turkish member parties to facilitate a hearing or round-table discussion regarding the benefit of Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks.

During the congress, ARF representative Mario Nalpatian was reelected as SI Vice President, as was Turkish Republican Party member (CHP) Umut Oran. Alexander Romanivoch from the Just Russia party was elected as SI Vice President for the first time. The Chair and Secretary General were also re-elected to their posts.

In a later session, Nalpatian objected to granting full membership to members of the Socialist Democratic Party of Azerbaijan, stating that the ARF has protested this from the beginning, taking into account their behavior in previous meetings. Party representatives had accused Armenians of genocide during an SI meeting in Geneva. Following an exchange in thoughts and ideas, representatives of the Socialist Democratic Party of Azerbaijan were required to publicly apologize in order to receive full membership status.

A couple of days prior to the Congress, Nalpatlian participated in a meeting of the SI leadership. He also participated in the meeting of the SI Financial and Administration Committee.

The ARF delegation had meetings with delegations from multiple political parties including the Democratic Union Party of Syria (PYD) and Patiotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Members of Turkey’s HDP were unable to participate in any meetings because of the persecution that has been launched against them by Turkish authorities.

The SI is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist, and labor parties. It currently brings together 153 political parties and organizations from all continents. The ARF is a member of the Socialist International Women (SIW) and the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). ARF Youth representative Garo Chadoian (Austria) is the Vice President of the IUSY. The co-chair of the SI CIS Caucasus and Black Sea Committee is ARF Bureau member and head of the party’s parliamentary faction Armen Rustamyan.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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