By Florence Avakian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
NEW YORK — The trauma of genocide does not end with the killing. The tragic effects can be long-term and very damaging. In the 20th century alone, tens of millions have been killed in Armenia, Germany, Cambodia, Bosnia, Guatemala, Darfur, Iraq, Rwanda, Sarajevo, South Sudan, as well as countless Greeks, Assyrians and Palestinians.
At the New York headquarters of the United Nations (UN), on Thursday, April 4, a special symposium took place, titled, “Toward Preventing Genocide — Nations Acknowledging their Dark History, and Practicing Mindful Non-Violence.” It was organized and moderated by Dr. Ani Kalayjian, president of the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP).
Opening the conference was Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Garen Nazarian, who reminded the audience of more than 60 UN delegation representatives that the “horror of genocide is repeating itself in different parts of the world today, and innocent victims continue to be persecuted for no other reason than their ethnicity, religion or national origin. International cooperation and action are required to facilitate the timely prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide,” he stated.
Nazarian noted that the United Nations Human Rights Council recently adopted a resolution initiated by Armenia, and co-sponsored by almost 60 member states of the international body which “stresses the importance of truth, justice, reparation and that perpetrators should be held criminally responsible on the national or international level, and affirmed.” He also emphasized the importance of education in the prevention of genocide.