Federal Senator for Queensland Paul Scarr announced his support of the Joint Justice Initiative, calling for Australia to recognize the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.
“For many years, I have provided support to the Queensland Rwandan community in relation to its commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsis,” Scarr stated in regards to his decision. “I understand the importance of recognizing historical truths.”
Senator Scarr had previously signed an Affirmation of Support to back national recognition of the genocide, meeting with delegated from the Joint Justice Initiative on February 2020.
The Joint Justice Initiative is an organization made up of members from the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities. Their goal is to mainly raise awareness and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The Initiative had also featured a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding during this time between the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) and Australian Hellenic Council (AHC).
The memorandum declared Australia’s recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides as a priority on behalf of the communities that have immigrated to and thrived in the country.
Responding to Senator Scarr’s support, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia Haig Kayserian said “We welcome Senator Paul Scarr joining our growing coalition of supporters in the Federal Parliament, representing a broad cross-section of political parties. It is only a matter of time that this support must translate in overdue Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.”
Over 100 federal Australian parliamentarians, diplomats, officials, academics, media and community leaders witnessed the historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Attendees were later treated to cultural performances, along with wine, food and a gala celebration when the public affairs representatives from the three communities in Australia united together in order to encourage Australia to recognize the Turkish-committed genocide against their ancestors.