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Western Armenian National Congress

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The following is an adaptation from the website of the International Organizing Committee
For original Armenian documents visit
www.ncwarmenians.org


 

Introduction
Far from their historic homeland, the descendents of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire (Western Armenians) represent the largest and the essential part of the world Armenians, and as such, are the legitimate claimants of their historic and legal rights. They are also the main resource for the secure and efficient functioning of the present Republic of Armenia . Western Armenians, however, do not have an organizational capacity nor coordination mechanisms, despite the existence of multitude of associations, organizations and political parties.

In the past two attempts were made to organize the Western Armenians by convening the First and Second Congresses in 1917 and 1919 in Yerevan. The last National Congress met In 1919/1920 in Paris in support of the negotiations leading to the Paris Peace Conference.

Goals of the IOC

The International Organizing Committee for the Preparation of the Western Armenian Congress was created as an NGO in 2006 and consists of a group of voluntary members including historians, lawyers, intellectuals and businessmen committed to the idea and the necessity of preparing and convening a Congress of Representatives of western Armenians. The latter being the legitimate claimant of its own historic and legal rights.

The Congress will establish representative bodies of Western Armenians including the Western Armenian National Assembly and the National Council as well as other Committees. The representative bodies should address all the issues related to the unlawful expropriation of private properties of citizens as well as of public institutions and buildings (churches, schools , clubs etc), and unlawful deportation of citizens from their original place of birth or residence. Strengthening the ties and the cooperation between different segments of Armenians as well as the distribution of responsibilities and roles between the Western Armenians and the Republic of Armenia would be essential.
 

Present status

The IOC is registered as an association under French law and has branches in Yerevan, Geneva and Moscow . It consists of founding members from Europe, North America, the Middle East , Russia and Armenia and will be extended to include members from Latin America, Australia etc. The present list may be extended to include new members who support the activities of the IOC.

Thus far the IOC has held eleven meetings in France, Switzerland, Cyprus and in Armenia, has addressed historical, legal , organizational and financial issues, and has published a number of documents and books.

WHY AND HOW TO ORGANIZE THE WORLD ARMENIANS

Despite the loss of statehood extending over centuries, Armenians led a civil, creative life in the Ottoman and Russian empires, in Persia, and living mainly on Armenian historic territories for thousands of years, by the beginning of the 20th century had accumulated sufficient resources, material and spiritual, to secure a safe existence and development. It’s not difficult to imagine what future and incredible opportunities could have opened before the nation, if its collective intelligence and collective will founded the means of prevention of national disaster during World War I.

The thesis that the Armenians were doomed to Genocide and nothing was related to the strategy and tactics of the national liberation movement, is a myth. A scientific objective analysis of political life of the Armenians for the last 150 years will inevitably show that more responsible, safe way of protection of national interests free from romanticism and adventurism existed. The latter was defended by Armenian conservative circles, Gabriel Ayvazyants, Malakiya Ormanyan, Spandar Spandaryan, etc. That's what Loris-Melikov was telling about to the Armenians of Constantinople during his visit to the city in 1859.

Even after Medz Yeghern, the Armenians had the chance for a national rebirth by preserving the Republic of Armenia, with its capital of Karin, and the adjoining parts of Western Armenia, within the framework of Erzerum, Van, Bitlis and Trabizond regions, de jure assigned to Armenia by Sevres Peace Treaty on August 10, 1920. This chance was conditioned by the capacity of the Armenians to combine their remaining forces to stop Bolshevik - Kemalist aggression.

Armenians had possibilities and certain opportunities, but lacked the ability to concentrate on the available nationwide potential. The formation of a necessary all-Armenian representative body responsible for tactics and strategy for the resolution of the Armenian Question also failed.

Numerous committees, such as National Council of Russian Armenians (September to October 1917), the National Council of the Turkish Armenians, and the Government of the Western Armenia (Security Council) in December 1917 were acting separately. Attempts to form a unified government proclaimed in 1919 as Free Independent Unified Armenia (consisting of representatives of the East and West Armenians) also failed. The Unified government was to be headed not only by the East (Russian) Armenians, but also West (Turkish) Armenians, such as Boghos Nubar, Gabriel Noradungian and others experienced in public administration. Having an international authority, this could have favoured the combination of the potential of the World Armenians: for the organization of repatriation, the return of deportees, the settlement of liberated territories, the creation of a strong army capable of defending and preserving a unified state, and for acting in the international field with a single position.

Armenians failed to do this. That is the main reason for further defeats and the losses of independence and freedom of the Republic of Armenia. Of course, there were objective difficulties but there were always chances to overcome them.

The goal for the formation of a powerful independent Armenian Factor in the international field exists nowadays. Now global conditions are better -- for Armenians -- than they were at the beginning of the last century. And Armenians have improved in strength. This century may be favorable for Armenians, if they draw lessons from mistakes, defeats and losses, and work for a necessary national unity.

The first stage on the interrupted path of the formation of the Armenian Factor -- after the catastrophe of Western Armenia ( հայաթափում) and defeat, partitioning and loss of the independent Republic of Armenia -- was the treatment of wounds following deportations, the restoration and strengthening of forces of the Armenian Diaspora, conservation and development of Armenian life (culture, education, economics) in Soviet Armenia in spite of a criminal totalitarian anti-national regime destroying national, spiritual life, the restoration of national independence in 1991, victory over Azerbaijan in the war (1992-1994) launched by Baku, the liberation of the major part of Artsakh and its de facto unification with the Republic of Armenia in 1994.

The second stage on our path shall be the creation of the appropriate mechanisms which will provide a full-fledged participation of the Armenian Diaspora, namely the descedents of the Western Armenians, former citizens of the Ottoman Empire. To this end a National Congress of the Western Armenians will be convened in Paris to establish authorized representative bodies - the National Assembly and the National Council of the Western Armenians.

The Organizing Committee will follow the course of events and keep the public informed.

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Comments

We are united!

Dear Compatriots,

Please try to study and by and by get convinced and accept realities.

In no advanced country political parties unite. Ideologically different dogmas cannot. In very special cases these may form temporary coalitions when their country faces danger. Simple as that.

Word "Unity" has been injected into the Fabric of the Diaspora Armenians, especillay  by adversaries' agents, such as "We Armenians will never unite" etc. No need to say that again or repeat  it like parrots. We are UNITED as to Genocide Recognition and our Just demands!!!

What  does  it matter  if my brother is a Maoist or Socialist, my friend rightist Nzhdehagan or ARF, another  is Ramgavar, Hunchag etc., We are all Armenians. Stop that please.

For further information of how to get organized you may contact [email protected]
 

WAN-C

In addition to the said positive goals of the Western Armenian National Congress, I see other potential benefits in the establishement of the group.

1. Since several nascent Western Armenian groups seem to have similar goals, their leadership and that of the National Congress might see the wisdom of joining forces.

2. The mushrooming of these new organizations might awaken the traditional political parties to the realization that Armenians in Diaspora have had enough of the time-wasting, mercenary, divisive, unintentionally subversive activities of our leading political parties.

3. The Congress, et al signal that the Diaspora is alive and kicking, with new blood, new vigour, new vision... that we will not settle for the business as usual mode of the traditional political parties.

4. The "threat" from the Congress and similar groups might force our Diaspora political parties to join them, borrow from their policy book, adopt the right-thinking strategy of the new groups. This would create the mass that any group needs to go forward.

5. A united Diaspora, with a clear agenda, would force the leaders of Armenia--present and future--to pay heed to the Diaspora and not to call us "orange-eaters". This also applies to the recognition by the U.S., Russia, Turkey, etc. that the Armenian Diaspora is not a fragmented entity but a relevant voice with widespread following.
Mesrob

Տարօրինակ է, որ Արեւմտահայոց


Տարօրինակ է, որ Արեւմտահայոց կոչուած խորհուրդը չի գործածեր արեւմտահայերէնը: Աւելին. Խորհուրդին գրասենեակը Մոսկուա կը գտնուի: Երբուընէ՞ արեւմտահայոց ճակատագիրը Մոսկուայէն կը տնօրինուի:

Մենք գնչու չենք, որ ցեղապետներ ունենանք: Սփիւռքին վերջը հասած է, մինչ հոս ու հոն դիւանակալ կառոյցներ կը բուսնին սունկերու պէս:

 

Արեւելահայերէ՞ն թէ արեւմտահայերէն

Պրն. Ենովք Լազեան,

Անշուշտ փափաքելի պիտի ըլլար որ նմանապէս արեւմտահայերէնով ըլլային զանազան յայտարարութիւնները: Չմոռնանք սակայն որ Հայաստանի բնակչութեան կարեւոր զանգուած մը սերած է արեւմտահայ գաղթականներէն որոնք հաստատուեցան Հայաստանի Հանրապետութեան մէջ ցեղասպանութեան պատճառով - շուրջ ութը հարիւր հազար: Նաեւ ներգաղթի շնորհիւ աւելի քան հարիւր հազար սփիւռքահայեր հաստատուեցան Սովետական Հայաստանի մէջ: Վերոյիշեալներու զաւակներն ու թոռները արեւելահայերէն կը գրեն ու կը խօսին նոյնիսկ սփիւռք փոխադրուելէ ետք:  Արդեօք իրենք անտեսուած պիտի չզգա՞ն եթէ արեւմտահայերէն օգտագործուի: Հապա պարսկահայե՞րը (կամ իրանահայերը):

Բացի այդ, արեւմտահայ ծագում ունեցող սփիւռքահայերու քանի՞ տոկոսը միթէ հայերէն կը գործածէ իր ամէնօրեայ կեանքին մէջ: Ի՞նչպէս օրինակ բացատրել շարք մը հայկական հրատարակութիւններու անգլերէն եւ կամ այլ լեզուներով գոյութիւնը: Օրինակները բազմաթիւ են - The Armenian Reporter, Asbarez, The Armenian Mirror Spectaor, The Armenian Weekly, և այլն: Ամենաշատ կարդացուող հրապարակագիրներէն է օրինակ Յարութ Սասունեանը: Պիտի չուզէի՞ք հարց տալ ինչու հայերէնով չի գրէր:

Ձեր կատարածը պարզապէս մատի փաթթոց է:

Գալով գրասենեակի հարցին այնպէս կը թուի թէ դուք նոյնիսկ չէք կարդացած այս տողերը - "Միջազգային կազմակերպչական կոմիտեն մասնաճյուղեր ունի Փարիզում, Ժնևում, Երևանում, Մոսկվայում, Լոս Անջելեսում: Հիմնադիր անդամների կազմում են Եվրոպայի, Հյուսիսային Ամերիկայի, ՀՀ-ի, Ռուսաստանի, Միջին Արևելքի հայ համայնքների ներկայացուցիչները: Այն համալրվում է նոր անդամներով Լատինական Ամերիկայից, Ավստրալիայից և այլն: Նոր անդամներ կարող են լինել նրանք, ովքեր կցանկանան մասնակցել Կազմակերպչական կոմիտեի աշխատանքներին:" http://www.wancongress.org/am/

Լրջամտութիւնը կը պահանջէ որ նմանօրինակ յոյժ կարեւոր հարցերու քննարկման ժամանակ մեծխօսիկ եւ աժան զրպարտութիւններով ժամավաճառ չըլլալ:

Western Armenian National Congress

This is exactly what our enemies and foreign powers want us to do. “Divide and Rule” Haven’t we been taught by our forefathers that “Single thread strings break so easily, but if you plait them together, then it would be a different story” !!! Let’s put our individual ambitions aside and stick to the most valuable motto, “UNITED WE STAND” !!! Mack Vahanian, Sydney, Australia

Partially true


You are absolutely correct when you state our enemies, primarily Turkey, want us to be divided.

Here is my question: Aren't already we divided almost beyond repair? Why for the past many decades our organizations, principally our parties have not come together and proposed a long term plan of action with respect to bringing our issues to international organizations and courts?

It's only at times of imminent crises that at the 11th hour they get together. It happened in Lebanon during the civil war when the extreme right Christian phalngist party and its allies harassed the Armenians to the point of bombarding the Armenian quarters. Why following that solidarity among the parties, that same spirit did not continue with regards to our most essential issues?

Give me a break. You are talking about individual ambitions. Again you are correct. What about the individual ambitions of the leaders of the parties that all along kept us apart. What about the ambitions of each individual party and above all ARF.

I single out ARF, because it's the most influential. If ARF really wanted solidarity it could have been achieved long time ago. The recent so called cooperation took place simply because ARF was turfed out of the ruling elite in Armenia and now it is  flexing its muscles in the Diaspora. For a whole decade ARF was part of the government. Are you so naive to think that they did not know what was going on behind closed-doors? As soon as this crisis is over, you may say goodbye to cooperation.

Why in the name of the almighty they did not, for example, in cooperation with the other parties pursue matters through legal means? Give me just one example. There is none!  All sorts of arguments have been put forward to cover their inaction in this area. Recognition of the Genocide alone is not going to solve our problems. It's just a smoke-screen delaying our claims until we fade away.

Now a new organization is planning primarily to bring our claims into the arena of the legal battle. Tell me what is wrong with that? Why instead of looking at the merits of the proposal suddenly all hell as if has broken loose and it is looked at as another element of dividing us?

Where is unity?

Dear Mack,

I agree with the wisdom of the quotations. However I find them misplaced. It's only after the Protocols were announced that the Armenian parties got together. It was almost like knee-jerk reaction more than anything else. It was not the result of a well thought-out far-reaching plan. Mostly it was due to the frustration and embarrassment of ARF in Armenia that led it to flex its muscles in the Diaspora.

Where were these three parties all along for year after year, better still decade after decade? Why did they not unify under one roof for at least to serve the main goals that all parties share? Why each one of them has an advocacy group of its own? Have you thought of these matters?

What you are suggesting is to wait for a few more decades so that they come to their senses. By then there won't be left any motivated Armenian to look after Armenian affairs. So what's wrong if some new energetic people propose to get together and form a unified front? They are not against the parties; in fact they are against nobody and it seems they want to be all-inclusive. I don't think it's accidental that they have the famous words of Charentz on their banner.

Our Rights

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama,

I, Gevorg Der-Galestanian, Armenian by ethnicity, the grandson of Armenian Genocide survivor from Mush, and proud citizen of USA  request like demanding that you revisit and implement the Peace Treaty of Sevres (August 10, 1920) carrying the signature of Presdient Woodrow Wilson.

I demand that all relevant countries respect  the official signatures of the their representatives.

Release the Western Armenian territories occupied by Turkey and NATO forces, and return them to their lawful people, the Armenians. That will be the only peaceful solution to 95 years old wound.

Thank You For Your attention to this matter. 

Sincerely Yours,

Gevorg Der-Galestanian
gdergalestanian@gmaildotcom


 

Petition


Let the Armenians Around The World And All Other Nationalities have a chance to learn about The Peace Treaty Of Sevres August 10, 1920 and Sign the Petition by clicking here, and thank You For Your support.

I do not belong to any political party and do not wish to become a member of any. Being the grandson of Genocide survivor from Mush in Western Armenia, I am doing this for my country and nation. I am a US citizen from California residing in Yerevan, Armenia.
 

What are you talking about


Mack, what are you talking about?  So far we have not been united, I think this is the only way to unite all Armenians, including the political parties.  With this concept, Armenians have the option to have one central representation in the Diaspora, as a legitimate 'government' recognized by all nations, hopefully.

Remember what Arafat did?  He had a government 'in-exile'. I think this will do something similar.  The 7Million+ Armenians in the diaspora will have a say in their rights and will have real power to make governments listen to our concerns and cause.

Hope I'm not wrong in my assumptions about this Congress.

Is this for serious?


Sorry folks, I am really confused. I admit. One talks about Armenian rights, like CCAF in Europe,  another about Assembly of Armenians in Europe and now a Western Armenian National Congress. Isn't this too much to handle? Aren't they all striving for the same goals? What happened to the traditional parties?

It appears this Congress to be all inclusive. Can it?

There have been so many previous attempts to get all Armenians, or at least western Diaspora Armenians under the same roof. They have all failed. What are the chances of this initiative succeeding. I must confess, I have no answers.

They have my full support

Hamazasb, I agree with your concerns; I am also curious as who are behind this, who is financing them, will they finally succeed? are the Armenian political parties supporting them?

On the other hand, we are fed-up with divisions, parties and fighting.  We need something like this to unite us and achieve justice and our rights.  We need an organization like this to protect the Diaspora Armenians and represent them to other nations, cultures, etc.

I wish them luck and success.  They have my full support.

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