On July 8, at 18:00, at the big hall of the American University in Armenia the grand opening of 12th meeting of International Association of Genocide Scholars took place.
This year the meeting is held under the title “Comparative Analysis of 20th Century Genocides”.
The opening ceremony was honored by the presence and speech of the RA President Serzh Sargsyan:
“Some people often use the wording “tragedy” when referring to genocide. But it is necessary that we always use the only correct characterization of the term – “crime.” Tragedy can often be the result of a technological disaster; can be the result of a natural disaster and even the result of a contingency. All this is in stark contrast to genocide, a carefully calculated, planned and prepared crime, which has a clear target, a defined set of tools and an ideology based on xenophobia”.
The AGMI Director and Chairman of the local organizing committee Hayk Demoyan also delivered a welcome speech:
“Holding IAGS conference in Yerevan is symbolic, as the organizing of the Centennial events in different countries all over the world made everyone to have a looking back once again, not only to the tragedy that befell the Armenians, but also to remember the horrors of the First and Second World Wars, Holocaust, Ruanda, etc.”.
IAGS President Dr. Daniel Feierstein and Chairman of the organizing committee Donna-Lee Frize also delivered speeches.
IAGS President Dr. Daniel Feierstein said: “In the past the studies of genocides were only focused on Holocaust, which was presented as an exceptional phenomenon and had the right to be called genocide. But there were scholars, who studied the genocides of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, and a field was created, which gave the opportunity to study other cases, and take into consideration the suffering experienced by people living in different countries”.
The election of IAGS new Executive Board also took place and Mr. Andrew Woolford was elected as IAGS new president.
After the announcement of the vote results the IAGS new president Andrew Woolford expressed gratitude for trust and expressed hope that he would meet the expectations of his voters. He also thanked the AGMI Director Hayk Demoyan and Deputy Director Suren Manukyan for organizing the conference in such a proper level:
“I am delighted with the organizational work. I think one day we can offer them to become president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. I am also delighted by the hospitality and endurance of the Armenian people. Armenia had always been a pleasant environment for scholars, where mutual understanding and the spirit of science do always prevail”, said Andrew Woolford.
A main and informative speech was made by Vigen Sargsyan, the RA President Chief of Staff and coordinator of the centennial events of the Armenian Genocide, entittled “Events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; prevention, memory, gratitude and rebirth”.
An active and constructive discussion also took place and participants gave their questions to the main speaker Vigen Sargsyan.
The solemn opening of the conference was concluded by the AGMI Deputy Director Suren Manukyan, who thanked the guests for their participation and presented the logo of the 12th meeting of IAGS.