December 9, 2017

Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622


Ottawa — The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) joins with all Canadians in marking International Human Rights Day and the 69th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on Genocide. As an organization that has been at the forefront of human rights advocacy and genocide awareness, the ANCC is committed to upholding the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and end all human rights abuses around the world.

“Today, we stand firm in our belief that all human beings, irrespective of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and background are entitled with equal and unassailable rights while believing that the persistent advancement of those rights will make the world safer and more prosperous for us all”, said Shahen Mirakian, President of the ANCC.

As we work together to eliminate all human rights abuses around the world, we ought to realize that there still remains considerable challenges and obstacles ahead of us.

“On this day, we call upon the international community to follow Canada’s example of actively monitoring and responding to the alarming situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, who continue to be denied some of the most basic human rights” said Mirakian.

Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Orthodox Church, His Holliness Aram I said, “What’s happening in Myanmar against the Rohingya Community is a genocide. Harrowing stories of rape, violence, hunger, persecution, massacre are not just horrifying words or imagination but concrete facts. Indeed, history repeats itself”

Despite considerable international pressure, the Myanmar Military continues to mercilessly deprive the innocent population of its fundamental freedoms, while attempting to advance a state-sponsored policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

“We are proud that the current Government of Canada highlighted these kinds of issues within the realm of politics, however, when we elevate the standards of moral issues to the highest grounds, we need to have a principled stance on all issues equally” said Mirakian.

Last year, after extensive deliberations, the Canadian government recognized the atrocities faced by the Yezidi minority in Iraq and Syria as an act of Genocide.

“While we commend the government’s rightful decision on the Yezidi issue, we urge them to follow the same example and reasoning in recognizing the Pontic Greek and Assyrian Genocides of the early 20th century and the ongoing genocidal atrocities that are being committed against the Assyrians and other Christian minorities in Iraq and Syria today” added Mirakian.

“As we decry repression and violence anywhere around the world, we stand resolute in our fight against injustice and reinstate our commitment to our shared values of respect, tolerance and justice”