The Genocide Determination Bill sponsored by Lord David Alton was given a Second Reading in the House of Lords as peers agreed to commit it to a Committee of the whole House for further consideration.
Lord Ara Darzi paid tribute to the noble Lord Alton for the passionate and determined way he has pursued this vital issue over many years:
“As the first Armenian in the British Parliament, and as a descendent of a genocide survivor, I owe him a particular debt. I was born in Iraq to Armenian parents made refugees by the 1915 genocide, in which more than 1 million ethnic Armenians were massacred by the Ottomans. I say that I am a genocide survivor, and in 33 countries around the world that description would be acknowledged, yet the country I have made my home is not one of them.
We should use the experience not to fuel bitterness and revenge but to set a stake in the ground and declare, “Never again”—not just for the Armenians but for people all over the world.
In 2020, the invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, forced 90,000 Armenians to flee their homes to escape the threat of ethnic cleansing. The world stood by, with few consequences for either Azerbaijan or Turkey.
This Bill is not simply about addressing a historic injustice. It is about how our understanding of the past shapes our actions in the present. It is about giving the full message of meaning when we say, “Never again”. I ask that your Lordships give the Bill your full support.