ANCA-WR: ANC Floods Congressional Leadership Offices w/ Genocides

Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200
Glendale, CA 91206
Phone: 818.500.1918
Fax: 818.246.7353
[email protected]

Friday, July 09, 2004
Contact: Ardashes Kassakhian

ANCA-WR Floods the Offices of Speaker Hastert and Senate President
Frist with Postcards Supporting Genocide Resolutions

Republican Leaders Block Bills Honoring Genocide Convention Backed By
the Late President Ronald Reagan

Glendale, CA – On Friday, July 9, 2004, the Chairman of the Armenian
National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) flew to
Washington, DC to deliver thousands of postcards demanding that
Republican leaders of the House and Senate schedule a vote on
resolutions marking the 15th anniversary of the U.N. Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Over the course of the last
four months, ANC local chapters have been actively collecting
signatures for the year long ANCA National Genocide Prevention
Postcard Campaign. ANC Chapters and activists in Arizona, California,
Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Texas have been instrumental in
gathering over 150,000 postcards and over 25,000 additional

Both H.Res 193 and S. 164 are pending because leaders in both bodies
refuse to bring the measures to a vote. Both bills mark America’s
commitment to the U.N. Genocide Convention, which was adopted by the
United States in 1988.

The late President Ronald Reagan was a primary force in encouraging
the U.S.

Senate to ratify and implement the U.N. Genocide Convention. Adopted
by the United Nations in 1948, the Convention languished on the Senate
docket for some 40 years, despite the heroic efforts of Wisconsin
Senator William Proxmire (D) and later Rhode Island Senator Claiborne
Pell (D) to obtain passage of the measure. In 1986, President Reagan
urged the Senate leadership to takeup the bill and, after a number of
modifications, the Convention was signed into law by Reagan in 1988.

`The time has come for a vote,’ remarked ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi

`With the support of hundreds of Members of Congress and over a
hundred civic organizations, these bills deserve to be voted on in the
House and Senate.

It is a sad day in America when Republican leaders actively block
legislation marking a Convention that is designed to prevent future
genocides,’ he added.

The ANCA Genocide Prevention Postcard Campaign was launched last year
with the help of Grammy nominated musicians System of a Down. The
purpose of the Postcard campaign is to raise public awareness about
the Genocide resolutions and urge Congressional leadership to schedule
a vote.

`We’re confident that both of these bills will pass if they come to a
vote, so it’s up to the leadership to bring them to the floor,’
commented ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian. `The House
version passed in committee without any objection,’ he added referring
to the vote on H. Res. 193 in the House Judiciary Committee back in
May of 2003.

To date, over 100,000 postcards have been delivered to both the House
and Senate leadership offices. With less than four months left in the
legislative calendar year, the ANCA-WR aims to heighten its efforts to
raise awareness and call for a Congressional vote.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and
most influential Armenian American grassroots political
organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices,
chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated
organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the
concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of

Editor’s Note: Photo attached Photo caption – ANCA-WR Government
Relations Director Armen Carapetian, ANCA-WR intern Lara Talverdian,
and ANCA-WR Staff Assistant Tamar Sadoriancount out Genocide
Prevention campaign postcards and prepare to send them to
Congressional and Senate Leadership Offices in Washington, DC.