The Legislative Council of the New South Wales Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the right to self-determination of its Armenian people, who declared independence from an oppressive Azerbaijan 20 years ago.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted on Thursday 25th October, comes after many months of advocacy from the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia). It was introduced to the Chamber by the Hon. Marie Ficarra MLC, who was been a long-standing supporter of Armenian issues.
The motion acknowledges the 20th anniversary of independence for the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, it supports the right to self-determination of its people, and it “calls on the Commonwealth Government [of Australia] to officially recognize the independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and strengthen Australia’s relationship with the Nagorno Karabakh and its citizens”.
ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian and with Communications Director Haig Kayserian were present in the Gallery to witness the successful passage of this historic motion.
“Nagorno Karabakh has been at the forefront of ANC Australia’s recent activities. Today’s result is a victory for all those who continue to remain oppressed under brutal regimes,” Kahramanian remarked.
“The NSW Parliament has always been, and continues to be, a beacon of hope in upholding human rights. We thank all members of the Legislative Council for taking a stance to uphold the basic human right to self-determination. In particular we thank Marie Ficarra for her courageous stance.”
ANC Australia Honorary Chairman, Greg Soghomonian welcomed this historic decision.
Soghomonian said: “The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh is now receiving the status it has long deserved – an independent, democratic republic. This is a significant milestone for the Armenian-Australian community and the Armenian community at large.
He added: “This motion serves as a testament to the strength of the Armenian National Committee of Australia in ensuring the representation of all issues of importance to our community.”
The full text of the motion can be read below.
1. That this House notes that 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
2. That this House:
(a) acknowledges the importance of the basic human right to self-determination and a free and a democratic society,
(b) recognises the right to self-determination of all peoples including those of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh,
(c) notes Nagorno-Karabakh’s sustained efforts towards creating a free and democratic society through the use of legitimate parliamentary elections and its continued efforts to develop a responsible government,
(d) supports and encourages Nagorno-Karabakh’s involvement within the international community and further encourages its engagement with the international community to reach a solution to the existing regional problems to establish peace and stability,
(e) encourages peaceful relations and the continued promotion of humanitarian and economic support for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh; and
(f) calls on the Commonwealth Government to officially recognise the independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and strengthen Australia’s relationship with the Nagorno-Karabakh and its citizens.