The New South Wales Liberal Party State Conference has adopted a motion calling on the Federal Australian Government to recognise the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, as well as accurately characterise the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU).
The Liberal Party is one of the two major political parties in Australia, and this motion was moved by Bennelong Branch member and City of Ryde Councillor, Trenton Brown on 6th August 2022. It was adopted without dissent by all voting delegates at the State Conference Annual General Meeting.
In line with motions previously passed in both houses of the New South Wales and South Australian parliaments, the motion called on Australia to recognise the rights to self-determination of the Armenians of the Republic Artsakh.
Significantly, this motion also condemned the war crimes committed by Azerbaijani petro-dictator Ilham Aliyev during the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war against the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, which resulted in the occupation of 70% of the self-determined Armenian Republic of Artsakh.
Brown’s motion also called upon the Australian Government to accurately recognise the 1915-1923 Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, which has also been recognised by the New South Wales and South Australian Parliament, and debated favourably by the Federal House of Representatives.
Prominent members of the NSW Liberal Party and Australian Liberal Party were present at the State Conference including NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, NSW Liberal Party State President and Australia’s former Minister for Immigration Hon. Phillip Ruddock, and NSW Liberal Party State Director Chris Stone.
“This is a historic achievement, one of Australia’s big two political parties in the country’s largest state has taken a principled stance on behalf of its 10,000-plus members to call on the Federal Government of Australia to stand on the right side of history on the Armenian Genocide, while declaring it stands on the right side of the present by recognising the rights to self-determination of the largely-occupied Armenian Republic of Artsakh,” said ANC-AU Executive Director Michael Kolokossian.
“As the people of Republic of Artsakh face their darkest days since the end of the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War, the NSW Liberal Party has sent an important message of solidarity and hope from over 14,000km away to the 100,000 Armenians braving threats to their existence in Artsakh.”
“We thank Councillor Trenton Brown for his leadership in championing this issue, and sincerely thank every delegate present for supporting this motion,” added Kolokossian.
The motion’s success is attributed to the long list of Armenian-Australians who have played a pivotal role in shaping the NSW Liberal Party’s policies around these two major issues of concern for the Armenian-Australian community, including former NSW Premier and former ANC-AU Board Member, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, City of Ryde Councillor Sarkis Yedelian OAM, former Senior Advisor to Federal Government Ministers, NSW Liberal Branch Member and ANC-AU National Board Member, Gisele Kapterian, NSW Liberal Branch Member, Armen Arakelian and many others.
Similar motions supporting the people’s right to self-determination of the Republic of Artsakh and condemning the criminal behaviour of Azerbaijan have also been adopted by the NSW Young Liberals, the ACT Young Liberals and most recently the National Young Liberal Convention earlier this year in January 2022.
The 2022 NSW State Liberal Conference was held on Saturday 6th August 2022, at the NSW Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney’s Western Suburbs with over 200 party members present.
Read the full motion below:
THAT State Council calls upon the Australian Government to:
1. Recognise the independence of the Republic of Artsakh;
2. Call out and condemn Azerbaijan’s 2020 war crimes against the indigenous Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh.
3. Call on Azerbaijan and Turkey to respect the OSCE Minsk Group peace process for the Karabakh /Artsakh conflict, in particular the non-use of force and the right to self-determination.
4. Call on Azerbaijan to release all Armenian prisoners of war remaining in forced captivity and condemn Azerbaijan’s desecration of ancient Armenian Christian and cultural sites