Federal Senator for Queensland, Paul Scarr has added his support to the Joint Justice Initiative of the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities calling for 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.
Sydney-born Scarr was a lawyer at top tier firms and recognised as a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, before being elected to the Senate at the 2019 Federal Election. He met a delegation from the Joint Justice Initiative in February 2020, before deciding to sign an Affirmation of Support backing national recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.
“For many years, I have provided support to the Queensland Rwandan community in relation to its commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsis,” Scarr stated. “I understand the importance of recognising historical truths.”
Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian said: “We welcome Senator Paul Scarr joining our growing coalition of supporters in the Federal Parliament, representing a broad cross-section of political parties. It is only a matter of time this support must translate in overdue Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Scarr, Tony Zappia MP, 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.