A concert dedicated to the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was held in The Hague on April 20, organized by the Federation of Armenian Organizations in the Netherlands under the auspices of the Armenian Embassy.
The concert was attended by representatives of the Dutch Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international organizations, embassies, public and political figures, representatives of the arts and culture, members of the Armenian community.
In their speeches, representatives of the Dutch Parliament underlined the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide and reaffirmed their commitment to making continuous efforts in that direction.
Addressing the event, Ambassador Tigran Balayan said:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express appreciation for your presence, next to the Armenian community of the Netherlands on the occasion of 107th commemoration of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.
Today I would like to pay tribute to the Dutch MPs, former and incumbent, for their tireless efforts for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Dutch Government. Very unfortunately, despite strong support by almost the entire political landscape of the Netherlands, reflected in an almost unanimous motion adopted at the beginning of last year, the new Government coalition agreement did not meet the widespread expectations. I hope to see that in the near future.
In our public speeches, private conversations, we are patiently trying to present to our interlocutors the bare fact that the 2020 aggression of Azerbaijan, politically, technically and militarily backed by Turkey, the worst atrocities committed against civilians, the brutality of murders, inhuman treatment of everyone, who was in Azerbaijani captivity is the direct consequence of the decades of non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide and logical and factual continuation of the policy of ethnic hatred and cleansing, xenophobia and the manifestation of the Genocidal intent.
It is not a coincidence that during 44 days of the aggressive war the two top insitutions for the Genocide Perevention – The Genocide Watch and the International Association of Genocide Scholars issued warnings on the Genocidal nature of the Azerbaijan’s actions and an imminent threat of Genocde against the Armenians.
It is not a coincidence that before the aggression Mr. Erdogan stated that they were going to finish what their grandfathers started, and after the war Mr. Erdogan standing next to the Azerbaijani dictator in Baku declared that the soul of Enver pasha is blessed now. For those who don’t know: Enver pasha was one of three top masterminds of the Armenian Genocide.
And here again we saw the Dutch Parliament in its glory of a true temple of democracy, raising its strong voice against the repetition of the same crimes committed against Armenians in their historic homeland 100 years ago. As all of you know, during 15 months the Tweede Kamer has adopted two dozens of motions, calling upon the Government to take practical steps to stop the bloodshed, hold accountable and sanction Azerbaijani dictator, his inner circle and all those responsible for the horrible war crimes, immediate and unconditional release of all Armenian PoWs and civilians, provision of direct humanitarian assistance to the people of Artsakh, not to support deepening of EU-Azerbaijan cooperation, unless the situation with human rights in Azerbaijan is not improved, etc. Nevertheless, again, very unfortunately, none of these motions was implemented. We are patiently looking forward as the new Government pledged to pay more attention to the position of the Tweede Kamer.
Geachte Leden van de Tweede Kamer,
Your presence here today is a manifestation of unwavering support and hope, and I want to thank you. Your presence shows that you didn’t forget what happened 100 years ago, and two years ago and you are the true torchbearers of the “Never again”.
Your presence here today is a commitment that you are not giving up, amid all the troubles, catastrophes we are witnessing, you are not giving up regardless the difficulties the Dutch Government faces in getting European support for the implementation of your motions, and finally that you care about 3 milion people with an aspiration to live in a peaceful democracy on the Armenian highlands in the Caucasus.
I would like to pay tribute to you for your commitment to the cause, you believe in and are struggling to achieve your goals, despite all the challenges and difficulties. I would like to pay tribute to this country – the beautiful Netherlands for hosting you, providing you with the opportunity for the exemplary integration, for giving you the opportunity to raise your concerns and most importantly to be heard.
The music we are going to hear today is a kind of fusion and the hymn for survival of my nation, the Armenian music performed by the Dutch musicians, a bold response to those who sought to exterminate Armenians 200 or 100 years ago. Armenians are alive, commemorating their martyrs, struggling for justice and for the right to live freely in an independent and democratic country.