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Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Page: 13601

Mr FITZGIBBON (HunterChief Government Whip) (13:47): While not necessarily agreeing with every word spoken, in the short time available I want to associate myself with the theme of the speeches delivered by the members for North Sydney, Wentworth, Bennelong and Hughes during the adjournment debate on Monday evening. Each gentleman spoke with conviction about the tragic experiences of the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic peoples in the earlier parts of the 20th century.

I have been a student of the fate of the Armenian people in particular. We seem to spend too much time playing word games and arguing about whether what the Armenian people suffered was or was not genocide. Rather, we should collectively spend more time recognising that between 1915 and 1923 hundreds of thousands of Armenians had their lives cut short for no other reason than for their ethnicity.

The best and most effective way to heal the wounds carried still by Armenians today is to recognise and acknowledge both the events of the past and the motivations behind them. Only then will the global community collectively be able to offer the Armenian people and others sufficient empathy. And only then will the international community be able to genuinely claim an unqualified determination to identify and eradicate genocide in any and every corner of the globe.