ANCC Statement on Cultural Genocide Awareness Day



(OTTAWA – December 8, 2023) – Today the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) issued the following statement on the occasion Cultural Genocide Awareness Day

“December 8, 2023, marks the 18th anniversary of the systematic destruction of the historic Armenian cemetery Djulfa by Azerbaijani forces. This act was part of a deliberate campaign to eliminate Armenian monuments in territories currently occupied by Azerbaijan. By December 15, 2005, more than 200 Azerbaijani soldiers had destroyed 10,000 intricately crafted Khachkars (stone crosses), some dating back to the 6th century. Khachkars, recognized by UNESCO as a significant expression of Armenian culture and history, symbolized the resilience and profound connection of the Armenian people to their Christian faith.

“Annually on December 8, the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) observes Cultural Genocide Awareness Day. On this day, the ANCC remembers and takes action, urging the Canadian government to condemn past and ongoing cultural genocides, preserve the richness of diverse history, and celebrate the contributions of threatened Indigenous cultures worldwide.

“The international community’s years of indifference and neglect contributed to the 2020 Artsakh War, where Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression resulted in the occupation of large portions of Indigenous Armenian land. After the war, and particularly following Azerbaijan’s latest genocidal aggression in September 2023, many Armenian religious and cultural sites and monuments have either been destroyed or refaced, attempting to erase evidence of the historical Armenian presence in the occupied territories.

“In January 2021, the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh published a report exposing the endangered cultural heritage now under direct threat of annihilation and revision by Azerbaijan. The report revealed that of the 4,000 Armenian cultural sites and artifacts, almost 1,456 are now under Azerbaijani occupation. These include 161 Armenian churches, the archaeological sites of Tigranakert, the Azokh Paleolithic cave, and 8 state museums with 19,311 exhibits.

“Despite this, Azerbaijan has refused to cooperate with UNESCO and other international authorities for a preliminary assessment of Armenian cultural sites. Canada, alongside the global community, must collaborate with multilateral organizations like UNESCO to hold Azerbaijan accountable and implement measures to safeguard the centuries-old Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh and surrounding regions.”


The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Armenian-Canadian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-Canadian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.

Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622 | [email protected]