Irvine, CA – Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian delivered remarks at a Darfur rally presented by southern California STAND chapters and hosted by the group’s affiliate on the UC Irvine campus. STAND, a student, anti-genocide coalition was founded in response to the current genocide in Darfur. The event was held in Aldrich Park on the campus of University of California at Irvine on Sunday, May 6, 2007. The event featured several community activists and organizations that are actively confronting the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Speaking on behalf of the ANCA-WR, Hovsepian reviewed the evolution of the world’s response to genocide – noting that after the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, the term genocide and its legal implications were defined, and that in the years that followed the world sought to avoid confronting genocide by ignoring it, refusing to acknowledge it, and now – with Darfur – neglecting to take substantive action to prevent it.
“While a humanitarian response is needed and should not be dismissed, we have yet to get to a point where we have the political will to stop genocide in its tracks,” noted Hovsepian. Recalling the recent anti-genocide advocacy event in Washington, D.C. the ANCA hosted with the Genocide Intervention Network, Hovsepian went on to note that, “We need to build the political will to confront genocide. Without it we have failed to achieve justice for the Armenian Genocide, we remain paralyzed from acting today to prevent the genocide in Darfur.”
Also delivering remarks to the community with the ANCA-WR were representatives from Jewish World Watch, Camp Darfur, and StopGenocideNow.org. Other speakers included humanitarian workers dealing with the victims from Darfur and Father Vazken Movsesian from In His Shoes Ministries who discussed being a child of genocide survivors and his trip to Rwanda 10 years following the genocide there. The afternoon featured several bands and fundraisers to help raise awareness about and support efforts to end the genocide.
The Armenian National Committee of America 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 issues.
Photo Caption: The Darfur region of Sudan.