European Parliament Vice President calls on all EU countries to recognize Armenian Genocide

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS. The Vice President of the European Parliament Fabio Massimo Castaldo says the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is significant also in terms of preventing the attempts of autocratic regimes to mystify the truth and fuel polarization in societies.

“There are days when more than others remind us of the horrible depths of which human nature is capable, and yet it is exactly in those days that we have the important task to look for a spark of hope, a deeper meaning to learn a lesson that will help us shape the future and ensure that certain events never happen again. Today is one of those days and I am honored, humbled, and deeply touched for the opportunity to address you directly. On April 24 we observe the genocide memorial day to remember the atrocities suffered by the Armenian people and to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated with barbarian efficacy by Ottoman Empire starting in 1915,” Castaldo said in a video message for ARMENPRESS on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

“In this spirit I stand in solidarity with you all and I appeal to my European brothers and sisters and to the whole humanity to join with the Armenian people in remembering and commemorating the victims of this horrible genocide and all other genocides in our planet. It is an important opportunity to deeply reflect on the necessity of historical knowledge and remembrance.

Days like this are indeed precious, as they are reminding us the need to fight with all our strength any form of discrimination and hatred , past and present, and the need to actively and timely oppose any genocidal policy, be it in the bud or already manifested. The path towards justice and reconciliation, towards healing of the wounds that events like genocides leave in the history of communities, in the history of whole humankind, requires first and foremost as a first step the unequivocal recognition of the crimes that have been committed.  For this reason I strongly call on all the European member states, all the members of the European Union to adopt a specific legislation that officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide.

Turkey, still strongly nowadays denies the genocide, denies this tragedy, and to date only the governments of 30 countries have recognized the events of 1915 for what they really were. We have to do better, we have to do more. Recognition is not merely a formal act, but rather something of exceptional importance and significance. Silence, hesitation and hypocrisy undermine the collective use of memory to the detriment of the livelihood of liberal democracies, which are increasingly under siege. Taking  a clear stance on this and other similar tragedies is essential to prevent totalitarian and autocratic states from attempting to mystify the truth and fuel polarization in our societies, ultimately changing our perception of reality and the actions of our governments. In this context education is a fundamental tool to ensure that such tragedies never happen again. The horrors of humanity must not only be remembered, they must be studied in depth. I firmly believe that events such as the Armenian Genocide must be compulsorily introduced into school curriculums along with programs aimed at preventing hatred and violence, which in recent years are increasingly and relentlessly spreading in all our societies and could only be contained by tolerance, by knowledge, by education.”

Castaldo expressed hope that next year he’d be able to join Armenians in Yerevan and visit the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to lay flowers and the Eternal Flame.

“…but today, as you let me  participate I such an important and touching ceremony, I want to once again assure you of my unwavering friendship, my strong solidarity and my total engagement and commitment, and I join you all in metaphorically shouting to the sky that we do not forget, that we will never forget, that we will always remember.”

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