Michael Sukkar MP is the latest Australian federal parliament member to pledge his support to the ‘Joint Justice Initiative’, launched by the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities.
The Melbourne MP, who is of Lebanese heritage, previously expressed his disappointment in the Australian government for not acknowledging the Armenian Genocide in December 2018.
During the House of Representatives debate honouring the 70th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, Sukkar said we should call out the genocide “for what it is”.
READ MORE: Australia’s Greek community join initiative to recognise Turkish-committed genocide against the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian citizens
READ MORE: Australian MP John Alexander joins Armenian-Assyrian-Greek ‘Joint Justice Initiative’
“No amount of economic consequences and no amount of diplomacy should ever stop us from doing the decent thing as Australians and calling out the genocide for what it is,” Sukkar said.
“If the consequences with governments and countries like Turkey or Azerbaijan mean that economic consequences flow, I say so be it—and I know the Australian people will back this parliament all the way when taking that approach.”
The Joint Justice Initiative was launched in Canberra during February month with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) and Australian Hellenic Council (AHC).
It calls for national recognition of the 1915 Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against its Christian Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations.
“The addition of a Government Minister to our calls for Australian recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides is further evidence that Turkey’s exported denialism is unwelcome in our country’s foreign policy,” said Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian.
“We thank Minister Sukkar for his support and conviction on this important issue on human rights.”
The Joint Justice Initiative has so far announced the support of Sukkar, Senator Louise Pratt, Warren Entsch, Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Andrew Wilkie MP, Julian Leeser MP, Michelle Rowland MP, Senator Paul Scarr, Tony Zappia MP, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Hollie Hughes, Senator Rex Patrick, Mike Freelander MP, Senator Eric Abetz, Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Pat Dodson, Jason Falinski MP, Josh Burns MP, John Alexander MP, Senator Andrew Bragg and Bob Katter MP.