Office of the Senior Advisor to the President of Iraq
Dr. Abdullatif Jamal Rashid, Senior Adviser to the President of Iraq took part in the "Second Global Forum against the Crime of Armenian Genocide" on 23 - 24 April 2016 in response to the official invitation sent by the Presidency of the Republic of Armenia.
Armenian President opened the conference, which was attended by high-level government officials, legal and political figures as well as the global movie stars and artistic and cultural figures.
The Forum program included Attending (Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity) as well as the following events:
09: 15 - Arrival and registration of the participants
10:00 - OPENING OF THE FORUM:
Statement by H.E. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia
11:30 - PANEL ONE:
GENOCIDE AND DISPLACEMENT: IDENTIFYING GENOCIDE FROM
THE PERSPECTIVE OF FORCED DISPLACEMENT AND RELOCATION
Followed By Q&A session
14:30 - PANEL TWO:
PREVENTING GENOCIDE AND PROTECTING REFUGEES:
Followed By Q&A session
16:00 - CLOSING SESSION:
Statement by Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia
Statement by delegations and delegates/participants
Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia
Speech of Dr. Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid delivered at the conference
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with pleasure that I convey to you the greetings of the President of Iraq and the Iraqi people.
It is an honor to accept this kind invitation and, participate in this important event to commemorate the victims of the crime of Genocide that the Armenian people suffered. This is one of the worst crimes ever in history.
It is a painful occasion and shame on humanity. Commemorating the genocide gives humanity a chance to do justice to victims. It is a condemnation to the perpetrators of this crime. It also enables us to learn the lesson in order to prevent such horrible events from recurring.
Sadly, the crime of the Armenian Genocide is not the last crime of this sort. Over the course of the past century other genocides have happened before and after the Armenian Genocide in different places in Europe, Africa, Asia, and in other continents without getting the attention they deserve.
Regrettably, humanity did not take a decisive and firm stand against the crimes of mass murder, Genocide, and destruction in spite of the legal obligations that International Organizations and individual countries have obliged themselves with.
It seems that humanity has not learned the lesson. To this very day victims still suffer because, the criminals can act as they intend. They can still act with relative impunity.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Iraq is an example. Over the course of the last four decades, if not for longer, our country has suffered from crimes organized at the state-level and committed by Saddam Hussein's dictatorship against millions of Iraqis be they in Iraqi Kurdistan, or in the southern and central parts of the country. Crimes of genocide took place: chemical weapons and mass graves were used as means for physical destruction. This is not to mention the displacement, and planned change of the ethnic and sectarian make-up of certain regions in the country to serve genocidal ends.
Further, during the last years and, until this very moment, our country suffers from heinous crimes perpetrated by the gangs of Al-Qaida, ISIS or (Daesh), the Takfiris, and, other murder gangs.
Iraqis from different religions and denominations were targeted by terrorists. Campaigns of killing and forced displacement targeting groups based on ethnic and denominational motivations took place. To this end, I refer to the suffering of the Yazidis, Christians, and Sabean Mandaeans.
Our country has been in a fierce war for over a decade with terrorists. In this war we always expect the support of the international community to help us rid the world from the evil of terrorism. However, and I say this with pain, instead of besieging and closing in on terrorists, some of our neighbors help terrorists infiltrate our cities and facilitate the provision of logistical supplies to them.
We all have to understand that if, we do not appreciate the responsibilities that fall on our shoulders then, the human dignity and life will always be threatened. As such, holding the perpetrators of previous crimes accountable and, serving justice are important steps to repel perpetrators and, bring closure to the victims.
At the end, we must never forget that the greatest service to the victims is: to faithfully guard peace, freedom, and human dignity. We have to respect the sanctity of life and, preserve diversity. We have to prevent criminals from violating the values of humanity.
May the Armenian victims and the victims of tyranny, dictatorship, and terrorism rest in peace wherever they maybe in the world.
Dr. Latif Rashid
Senior Adviser to the President of Iraq
Yerevan, April 23, 2016