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MP Tony Zappia joins Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in calling for Australian recognition of genocides

Federal Member for Makin, Tony Zappia has added his voice of support for the Joint Justice Initiative, which was established to promote Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.

The February 2020 launch of the Joint Justice Initiative at Australia’s Parliament House featured the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) and Australian Hellenic Council (AHC), which declares Australia’s recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides as a priority on behalf of their communities.

Zappia, who was born in Italy and has represented his South Australian electorate in Federal Parliament since 2007, is a long-standing supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition and spoke on the matter most recently during a parliamentary debate in December 2018.

“(The) recognition of atrocities will bring a sense of closure and solace to survivors and family descendants. It will also send a message to the world that such acts of horrific cruelty to others are not acceptable and, if perpetrated, those responsible will ultimately be held to account,” Zappia said during the 2018 House of Representatives debate, which honoured the 70th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian said: “Mr. Tony Zappia has continues his long-standing support on the issue for justice for the 1915 Genocide by signing the Joint Justice Initiative affirmation. We thank him fort this support and are fortunate he will continue this journey towards national recognition, hand-in-hand with our three communities.”

The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Zappia, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Hollie Hughes, Senator Rex Patrick, Mike Freelander MP, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Pat Dodson, Jason Falinski MP, Josh Burns MP, John Alexander MP, Senator Andrew Bragg and Bob Katter MP, with a promise of more announcements to come.

On 25th February 2020, over 100 Federal Australian parliamentarians, diplomats, departmental officials, political staffers, academics, media and community leaders were treated to cultural performances, food, wine and brandy, as well as the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which affirmed that the signatory public affairs representatives of the three communities were jointly committed to seeing Australia recognise the Turkish-committed Genocide against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian citizens of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

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