The Legislative Council of the New South Wales Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the right to self-determination of its Armenian people, who declared independence 20 years ago.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted on Thursday 25th October, comes after many months of advocacy from the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia). It was introduced to the Chamber by the Hon. Marie Ficarra MLC, who was been a long-standing supporter of Armenian issues.
The motion acknowledges the 20th anniversary of independence for the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, it supports the right to self-determination of its people, and it “calls on the Commonwealth Government [of Australia] to officially recognize the independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and strengthen Australia’s relationship with the Nagorno Karabakh and its citizens”.
ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian and with Communications Director Haig Kayserian were present in the Gallery to witness the successful passage of this historic motion.
“Nagorno Karabakh has been at the forefront of ANC Australia’s recent activities. Today’s result is a victory for all those who continue to remain oppressed under brutal regimes,” Kahramanian remarked.
“The NSW Parliament has always been, and continues to be, a beacon of hope in upholding human rights. We thank all members of the Legislative Council for taking a stance to uphold the basic human right to self-determination. In particular we thank Marie Ficarra for her courageous stance.”
ANC Australia Honorary Chairman, Greg Soghomonian welcomed this historic decision.
Soghomonian said: “The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh is now receiving the status it has long deserved – an independent, democratic republic. This is a significant milestone for the Armenian-Australian community and the Armenian community at large.
He added: “This motion serves as a testament to the strength of the Armenian National Committee of Australia in ensuring the representation of all issues of importance to our community.”
The full text of the motion can be read below.
1. That this House notes that 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
2. That this House:
(a) acknowledges the importance of the basic human right to self-determination and a free and a democratic society,
(b) recognizes the right to self-determination of all peoples including those of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh,
(c) notes Nagorno-Karabakh’s sustained efforts towards creating a free and democratic society through the use of legitimate parliamentary elections and its continued efforts to develop a responsible government,
(d) supports and encourages Nagorno-Karabakh’s involvement within the international community and further encourages its engagement with the international community to reach a solution to the existing regional problems to establish peace and stability,
(e) encourages peaceful relations and the continued promotion of humanitarian and economic support for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh; and
(f) calls on the Commonwealth Government to officially recognise the independence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and strengthen Australia’s relationship with the Nagorno-Karabakh and its citizens.
With a population of 1.3 billion some might argue that China should be leading the medal tally at the Olympics but the real winner is … Armenia.
The Los Angeles Times has compiled a tongue-in-cheek list of winning nations based on medals per capita and six days into the August 8-24 Games the former Soviet republic of Armenia, with a population of nearly 3 million, leads with three bronze medals.
Georgia, with 4.6 million people, is in second place with two gold medals — in men’s judo and Greco-Roman wrestling — and one bronze, while at home the nation is at loggerheads with Russia over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.
Australia, with a population of 20.5 million, is standing firmly in third place with 16 medals, including five gold medals, three of them won by rising star of the pool Stephanie Rice.
Switzerland, with 7.6 million people, won a cluster of cycling medals to ride into fourth place, with Roger Federer still in the hunt for the men’s tennis title.
The alternative medal table by the Los Angeles Times had the Bahamas, with a population of 300,000, winning the medal count at both the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Games in 2004.
Gladys Berejiklian was born on September 22, 1970. As an Australian politician, she is the Minister of Transport in the O’Farrell Government. Berejiklian has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Willoughby for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2003.
Berejiklian was born in Sydney and has a Bachelor of Arts (1992), a Graduate Diploma in International Studies (1996) from the University of Sydney and Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales (2001). She served a term on the Armenian National Committee of Australia. In 2000, she visited the US as a delegate from the Australian Political Exchange Council.
Berejiklian joined the Liberal Party in 1993 and was President of the New South Wales Young Liberal Party in 1996. This was a most notable victory as there have only been four female Young Liberal Presidents in the party’s history. She also served as a Delegate to State Council (1996–2003), Urban Representative of the NSW Liberal Party State Executive (1997–2003), Campaign Director for State seat of Willougby (1999) and Chair of Convention Committee (2002). Berejiklian worked for Peter Collins and Senator Helen Coonan as well as the National General Manager to Commonwealth Bank of Australia before entering politics.
Elected as the Member for Willoughby in 2003, Berejiklian is the first person of Armenian descent to be elected to the New South Wales Parliament. She joined the frontbench in 2005 as Shadow Minister for Mental Health and was appointed to the opposition frontbench portfolio of Transport by Peter Debnam in 2006. Following the 2007 State election, Berejiklian was given the portfolio of Citizenship by Opposition Leader O’Farrell. Berejiklian has been outspoken against the former Labor Government’s handling of trains, buses and ferries.
Following the election of the O’Farrell government at the 2011 State election, on 3 April 2011 Berejiklian was appointed Transport Minister.