Deputy Minister Ashot Hovakimian participated in International Conference on anti-Semitism in Rome


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 On January 29, Ashot Hovakimian, Deputy Foreign Minister participated in the "International Conference on the Responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals in Combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in the OSCE Area" organized by the Italian Chairmanship.

The participants of the conference were received by Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome.

Angelino Alfano, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Italy, delivered the opening remarks. Ministers and Deputy Ministers of a number of OSCE participating states, OSCE Secretary General, Director of the OSCE/ODIHR, heads of world and European Jewish organizations participated in the meeting.

Issues of combating intolerance and discrimination have been discussed at the conference with the special emphasis on anti-Semitism.

Deputy Minister Hovakimian noted in his statement that it is symbolic to hold a conference on anti-Semitism in Rome as the world commemorates the Holocaust Remembrance Day. He underlined that while paying tribute to the Jews exterminated by the Nazi regime, the international community should reaffirm its commitment to human rights and the protection of vulnerable religious, ethnic and national groups to make sure that genocides and other crimes against humanity never happen again.

Deputy Minister Hovakimian noted that Armenian and Jewish peoples share old relations, which go back to the time of antiquity, and that the Jewish community of Armenia actively participates in social and cultural life of the country. He touched upon the efforts of the Armenian authorities to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of Jewish people in Armenia, mentioning in this context the renovation of the medieval Jewish cemetery of Yeghegis.

Ashot Hovakimyan highlighted the importance of fulfillment of the OSCE commitments on Genocide remembrance and education. With regard to the UN General Assembly's Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 70th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, he urged to continue to adhere to the letter and spirit of those landmark documents in the OSCE human dimension commitments.

Speaking about Armenia's national experience in the field of prevention, remembrance and education, Ashot Hovakimian recalled that an OSCE Conference on “Preventing and Countering Hate Crimes against Christians and Members of other Religious Groups - Perspectives from the OSCE and beyond” was held in Yerevan in November 2017.

Within the framework of the conference, Deputy Minister Hovakimian had a number of bilateral meetings with the leadership of the OSCE Italian Chairmanship Coordination Group and other high-level officials of the Foreign Ministry of Italy. The sides discussed the priorities of the Italian Chairmanship and the issues of cooperation within the OSCE framework.