The Chair of the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives Standing Committees on Migration and Indigenous Affairs, Julian Leeser MP has signed an Affirmation of Support backing the Joint Justice Initiative for national 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.
Leeser is the Federal Member for Berowra which covers suburbs in Sydney’s Upper North Shore, and has been a supporter of Genocide recognition and justice since entering Parliament in 2016 following the retirement of veteran former Attorney General, the Hon. Phillip Ruddock.
A prominent Jewish-Australian politician, Leeser spoken for recognition of the Armenian Genocide in speeches within and outside parliament, as well as in a parliamentary debate where he emphatically called out Turkey’s denial of 1915.
“I think the world has been too slow to recognise and call out the Armenian Genocide a century ago for what it was,” Leeser said in the December 2018 debate. “It’s time every nation in the world, including our own, recognised the Armenian genocide for what it was. It’s time the Erdogan regime in Turkey owned up to their own history as well.”
Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian welcomed Leeser’s addition to the growing Joint Justice Initiative.
“Mr. Leeser has always shown great empathy for issues of genocide justice, and is a friend and advocate for truth in Australia’s Parliament,” said Kayserian.
“We in the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities are honoured to have such a strong ally in our cause for recognition and justice of the genocides faced by our ancestors in 1915.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Leeser, Michelle Rowland MP, Senator Paul 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.