The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott and three of his senior Ministers have all, while in Opposition over the last three years, properly characterised the Armenian Genocide in public speeches and statements, the Armenian National Committee of Australia reports.
Abbott, Australia’s 28th Prime Minister, recently unveiled his new Cabinet. The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) revealed that “Armenians should be delighted that 20% of the Cabinet, as well as many members of the outer Ministry, were on recent record either characterising the Armenian Genocide correctly or outright advocating for Australia’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide”.
Australia’s new Treasurer, Joe Hockey, who is of Armenian heritage, has been the most vocal advocate in Parliament, calling upon the Australian government to officially recognise the Armenian Genocide. In 2005, Hockey became the most senior Australian government Minister to visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. Since that time, he has continued to be a staunch voice on the issue.
he Member for Wentworth and Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull delivered a powerful speech in 2011 on the floor of Parliament on the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocides, and the need for Australia to recognise this crime against humanity.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, who attended the 2011 Armenian Genocide Commemoration, joined his Parliamentary colleagues calling for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In addition, as Opposition Leader, the current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has issued a statement on every April 24 marking the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Many other individuals in the outer Ministry and Parliamentary Secretaries, including Senator Marise Payne, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Paul Fletcher MP, have been strong advocates for Armenian Genocide recognition by Australia. Fletcher has also backed the right to self-determination for the people of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.
ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian commented: “The composition of the Federal Parliamentary Cabinet represents the first time we have seen so many supporters of Armenian Genocide recognition hold such high office. Over twenty percent of the cabinet has a clear track record of support.”
“We look forward to working with the current government to ensure Australia adds her voice in recognising this dark chapter in history,” Kahramanian added.
It is widely expected that Bronwyn Bishop, another staunch supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition in Australia, will take on the role as Speaker of the House of Representatives.