December 11, 2019
A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, COMMEMORATING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE THROUGH OFFICIAL RECOGNITION AND REMEMBRANCE; THANKING CONGRESSWOMAN DONNA SHALALA FOR VOTING FOR THE PASSAGE OF U.S. HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES RESOLUTION 296 AFFIRMING THE UNITED STATES RECORD ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; AND URGING SENATORS MARCO RUBIO AND RICK SCOTT TO VOTE FOR THE PASSAGE OF THE RELATED SENATE SOLUTION 150.
WHEREAS, the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians; and
WHEREAS, the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized and led protests by officials of many countries against what he described as the empire's “campaign of race extermination”, and was instructed on July 16, 1915, by the United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing, that the “Department approves your procedure...to stop Armenian persecution”; and
WHEREAS, President Woodrow Wilson encouraged the formation of the Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, which raised $116,000,000 (over $2,500,000,000 in 2019 dollars) between 1915 and 1930, and the Senate adopted resolutions condemning these massacres; and
WHEREAS, Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide” in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the 20th century; and
WHEREAS, as displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying “[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”, setting the stage for the Holocaust; and
WHEREAS, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-441) establishes that atrocities prevention represents a United States national interest, and affirms that it is the policy of the United States to pursue a United States Government-wide strategy to identify, prevent, and respond to the risk of atrocities by “strengthening diplomatic response and the effective use of foreign assistance to support appropriate transitional justice measures, including criminal accountability, for past atrocities.”; and
WHEREAS, the United States has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, through the United States Government's May 28, 1951, written statement to the International Court of Justice regarding the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, through President Ronald Reagan's Proclamation No. 4838 on April 22, 1981, and by House Joint Resolution, adopted on April 8, 1975, House Joint Resolution 247, adopted on September 10, 1984, and House Joint Resolution 296, adopted on October 29, 2019; and
WHEREAS, as of 2019, governments and parliaments of 32 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, Argentina, and Brazil have formally recognized the Armenian Genocide, and several of those countries, such as Argentina, France, and Canada, have formally adopted April 24 as a public day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide;
WHEREAS, in the United States, 49 out of 50 states have recognized the Armenian Genocide, Florida being one of them;
WHEREAS, there are approximately 30,000 Armenians living in the state of Florida; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Commission of the City of Miami Beach thank U.S. Congresswoman Donna Shalala for her vote to pass the House Resolution 296, and urge Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to vote for the passage of the related Senate Resolution 150, which was introduced to the Senate on April 9, 2019.
WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Commission join the U.S. government in commemorating the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance, rejects efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate City of Miami Beach with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide, and encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the United States role in the humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT DULY RESOLVED BY THE MAYOR AND CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, that the Mayor and City Commission hereby commemorate the Armenian genocide through official recognition and remembrance, thank Congresswoman Donna Shalala for voting for the passage of the U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 296 affirming the United States record of the Armenian genocide, and urge Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to vote for the passage of the related Senate Resolution 150.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 11 day of December 2019
(Sponsored by Commissioner Mark Samuelian)