Washington, D.C. - Dr. Rouben Adalian, Director of the Armenian National Institute, spoke about the significance of President Joe Biden's affirmation of the Armenian Genocide during the Armenian Assembly of America's Summer Speaker Series on Thursday evening, June 17, 2021. Dr. Rouben noted that President Biden has a long and consistent record on this matter. While previous presidents provided a dictionary definition, it was President Biden that "connected recognition of the Armenian Genocide with a much broader interest of human rights” in this year's April 24th statement. The affirmation journey has been long, according to Dr. Adalian, and a testament to the perseverance of the Armenian American community and our elected officials. He also highlighted key figures, including Senators Bob Dole (R-KS) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who helped reach this milestone by championing Armenian Genocide recognition in the United States Senate. Dr. Adalian noted that when Senator Dole brought the Senate Armenian Genocide resolution to the floor in 1990 (S.J. Res. 212), it had first been approved by the Judiciary Committee, then chaired by Senator Biden (now president). Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chairman Menendez played "vital leadership roles," according to Dr. Adalian, who emphasized that they steered the House and Senate Armenian Genocide resolutions by "bringing them to the floor and getting them adopted.” With full U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Dr. Adalian stated that there is no reason for the media to continue its "two-sided storytelling that has plagued the accounting of the Armenian Genocide." "The Armenian American community should feel equipped that they can tackle the media and can play a valuable role in that matter as well," he said. Dr. Adalian concluded his presentation by stating: "What President Biden did in fully affirming the Armenian Genocide truly honors the memory of the victims and is a landmark moment in the development and advancement of American political culture." Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, carried the torch of affirmation from the 1990s and on a bipartisan basis secured passage of the Armenian Genocide in December of 2019. This landmark development followed the historic and overwhelming vote (405-11) in the House of Representatives in October of 2019, which resulted from the tenacious efforts of the Armenian Caucus in seeing that the 2019 resolution, spearheaded by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Armenian Caucus leadership, reached the floor. The Terjenian-Thomas Assembly Internship Program, which will take place virtually this summer, provides college students of Armenian descent an opportunity to gain exposure to the policy-making process in our nation’s capital for eight weeks each summer. Since 1977, the Armenian Assembly of America has assisted over 1,200 participants in securing placements in prominent congressional offices, government agencies, media outlets, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations in Washington, D.C.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.