Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim April 24, 2016, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the State of New York

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to
proclaim April 24, 2016, as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the
State of New York

WHEREAS, This Resolution arises from a sense of human decency and
respect for the Armenian people and their history; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, it is the sense of this Legislative Body to memori-
alize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim April 24, 2016, as Armenian
Genocide Remembrance Day in the State of New York; and
WHEREAS, During the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, one million five
hundred thousand men, women, and children of Armenian descent, and
hundreds of thousands of Assyrian and Greek descent, lost their lives at
the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in its attempt to systematically
eliminate the Armenian race, while hundreds of thousands had become
homeless and stateless refugees; and
WHEREAS, April 24, 1915, is globally observed as the commencement of
the Armenian Genocide because the arrest on that day, and subsequent
execution, of several hundred Armenian leaders alerted the world about
the Ottoman Turks' genocidal plan; and
WHEREAS, Despite Armenians' historic presence, stewardship, and auton-
omy in the region, Turkish rulers of the Ottoman Empire subjected Arme-
nians to severe and unjust persecution and brutality including wide-
spread and wholesale massacres beginning in the 1890s, most notably the
Hamidian Massacres from 1894 to 1896, and the Adana Massacre of 1909;
WHEREAS, By 1923, these crimes against humanity not only resulted in
the killing of unprecedented numbers of innocent people, but also had
the consequence of permanently removing all traces of the Armenians and
other targeted peoples from their historic homelands of more than three
millennia, and enriching the perpetrators with the lands and other prop-
erty of the victims of these crimes, including the usurpation of several
thousand churches; and
WHEREAS, By consistently remembering and forcefully condemning the
atrocities committed against the Armenians, and honoring the survivors
as well as other victims of similar heinous conduct, we guard against
repetition of such acts of genocide and provide the American public with
a greater understanding of history; and
WHEREAS, This Resolution declares that this Legislative Body deplores
the persistent, ongoing efforts by any person, in this country or
abroad, to deny the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide; and
WHEREAS, The failure of the international community to hold responsi-
ble nations accountable for crimes against humanity results in travesty
of justice, and sets a negative precedent; and
WHEREAS, The United States is on record as having officially recog-
nized the Armenian Genocide in the United States government's May 28,
1951, written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding
the Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide, through President Ronald Reagan's April 22, 1981,
Proclamation No. 4838, and by Congressional legislation including House
of Representatives Joint Resolution 148 adopted on April 8, 1975, and
House of Representatives Joint Resolution 247 adopted on September 10,
1984; and
WHEREAS, Even prior to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide, the United States has a record of having
sought to justly and constructively address the consequences of the
Ottoman Empire's intentional destruction of the Armenian people, includ-

ing through Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 adopted on February 9, 1916,
Senate Resolution 359 adopted on May 11, 1920, and President Woodrow
Wilson's November 22, 1920, decision entitled, "The Frontier between
Armenia and Turkey"; and
WHEREAS, On April 24, 2013, the President of the United States stated,
"A full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts is in all of our
interests. Nations grow stronger by acknowledging and reckoning with
painful elements of the past, thereby building a foundation for a more
just and tolerant future"; and
WHEREAS, President Obama entered office having stated his "firmly held
conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal
opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact
supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence" and affirmed
his record of "calling for Turkey's acknowledgment of the Armenian Geno-
cide"; and
WHEREAS, In response to the Genocide and at the behest of then Presi-
dent Woodrow Wilson and the U.S. State Department, the Near East Relief
organization was founded and was provided unprecedented complete access
to all U.S. government documents and files concerning the plight of
Christian minorities; and
WHEREAS, Near East Relief was the first Congressionally-sanctioned
American philanthropic effort created exclusively to rescue the Armenian
Nation and other Christian minorities from annihilation after U.S.
Ambassador to Constantinople Henry A. Morgenthau, Jr., pled for assist-
ance upon personally witnessing the systematic massacre of Armenians;
WHEREAS, Near East Relief's efforts resulted in delivering $117
million of assistance between 1915 and 1930, including the delivery of
food, clothing, and materials for shelter, setting up refugee camps,
clinics, hospitals, and orphanages; and
WHEREAS, The generous philanthropy of the American people directly
resulted in the salvation of the Armenian and Assyrian refugees nation
from being completely annihilated by the Genocide by saving more than
one million refugees, including more than 130,000 orphans through their
humanitarian assistance; and
WHEREAS, Near East Relief evolved into the Near East Foundation in
1930, and continues to provide humanitarian aid to people throughout the
Middle East and Africa; and
WHEREAS, New York is home to a vibrant Armenian-American community who
have enriched our State through their leadership and contribution in
.SO DOC S R4117 RESO TEXT 2015
business, agriculture, academia, government, and the arts; and
WHEREAS, The State of New York endeavors to encourage and promote a
curriculum relating to human rights and genocide in order to empower
future generations to prevent the recurrence of genocide; and
WHEREAS, April 24, 2016, will mark the 101st Anniversary since the
commencement of the Armenian Genocide; and
WHEREAS, Armenians in New York, and throughout the world, have not
been provided with justice for the crimes perpetrated against the Arme-
nian nation despite the fact that a century has passed since the crimes
were first committed; and
WHEREAS, Members of the Armenian community honor the memory of the
victims of this genocide and emphasize that crimes against humanity must
be condemned and never be allowed; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim April 24, 2016, as
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the State of New York; and be it

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


  • 03 / Mar / 2016
  • 08 / Mar / 2016
  • 08 / Mar / 2016

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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