Oct 31, 2011

Assyria: Universal Alliance World Congress Concludes

The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) concluded its 28th World Congress in the Iranian capital, Tehran, with the participation of nearly 50 delegates from Diaspora communities.

Below is an article published by aina.org.

The Congress convened for three consecutive days during which time reports of various delegations from different countries were read. Attending the Congress were representatives from Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Iraq, the Netherlands, America, Australia and other countries. The Congress welcomed delegations from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany, Sweden and Lebanon who participated for the first time in the AUA World Congress.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance also hosted a special gathering of the leadership of political parties, organizations and institutions of our people during its regular meeting. This discussion of many important national issues was attended by all representatives in the assembly on October 7.

In addition to representatives of our parties and organisations, the opening ceremony held on 6 October 2011 was attended by the Vice President of the Iranian Shura Council, Mr. Hassan Bhonar, several members of the Iranian Shura Council, a representative of the mayor of Tehran, and a number of ambassadors in Iran, including their Excellencies the Vatican Ambassador and the Australian Ambassador in Tehran. In attendance were His Grace Mar Narsai Benyamin, Bishop of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East (ACOE) in Tehran, His Beatitude Ramzi Krmo, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Tehran, and a crowd estimated at more than one thousand people. The ceremony was opened by the singing of both the Iranian and the Assyrian national anthems, performed by the Iranian Assyrian National Choir in the hall of the "Meelaad Tower" in Tehran, and was followed with a prayer by the ACOE patriarchal representative in Iran, H.B. Mar Narsai Benyamin, and the reading of a letter of blessing from His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, the Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.

Throughout the Congress many issues of concern to our nation were discussed by the delegates, and plans were made to find solutions to the tragic situation of our people in Iraq and various neighbouring countries. Topics included ways to provide security and assurance required for the safe return of all displaced Assyrians to their ancestral homeland and granting them full national rights equal to other Iraqi citizens, and to prevent all forms of discrimination and oppression and excesses against Assyrians, including the deprivation of their right to self-determination.

Nominations were accepted for the election of a new leadership for the AUA. The results of the election were:

Hon. Yonathan Betkolia, Secretary General Mr. Hermiz Shahen, Deputy Secretary General Mr. Baito Chiko, Treasurer Mr. Jingo Sarkis, Executive Secretary

The following people were also elected for the following positions:

Mr. Carlo Ganjeh, Regional Secretary for the Americas Mr. David M. David, Regional Secretary for Australia and New Zealand Deacon Edwin Babeleh, Regional Secretary for the Homeland Mr. Shlemon Haddad, Regional Secretary for Western Europe Mr. Arsen Mikhailov, Regional Secretary for Eastern Europe

Recognized for his venerable services to the AUA in Australia, Mr. Paul Azzo was selected as the Assyrian Man of the Year.

In appreciation of her efforts in the scientific research of the genocide against the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks by the Ottoman Turks during World War I, Dr. Anahit Khosroeva, Ph.D., a senior researcher at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, was selected as the Assyrian Woman of the Year.

For her great efforts in organizing and preparing Assyrian youth groups in America as well as contributing to the AUA in multiple other fields, Miss Ilona Betkolia was selected as the Assyrian Youth of the Year.

The participants in the AUA World Congress extended formal thanks and appreciation to Hon. Yonathan Betkolia, the Secretary General of the AUA, for his robust and effective efforts for the success of this Congress, and for his tireless efforts to gather together the leaders of organizations and parties of our nation. The Congress also extended its gratitude to the Assyrian Foundation in both Tehran and Urmia for their hospitality and warm reception of all guests attending the AUA World Congress.

AUA declaration is as follows: The 28th World Congress Tehran, Iran October 6-10, 2011 Declaration

The 28th World Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) convened in Tehran, Iran from October 6 through October 10, 2011 with participation comprising of more than fifty (50) Assyrian representatives from thirteen (13) countries. The AUA extends its warmest gratitude to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for their hospitality. Furthermore, the AUA extends appreciation to all the foreign ambassadors in Tehran who accepted our invitation and attended the opening ceremony of this World Congress.

NOW THEREFORE, the AUA declares the following:

Supports the resolutions of the assembly of the ChaldeanSyriacAssyrian union of political organizations and congratulates them on the success of their 9th conference hosted by AUA in Tehran, Iran on October 7th 2011. Demands the immediate establishment of an Assyria Province as part of the Federal Republic of Iraq on our ancestral lands in Northern Iraq which region shall include an indigenous parliament and a security force. Condemns all acts of terrorism and violence carried out against all Iraqis including acts against the indigenous and defenseless Assyrians. Demands that the Federal Government and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq return immediately all occupied Assyrian lands and villages to Assyrians. Draws the attention of the international community to the plight of our people and demands worldwide support to save this most ancient and indigenous race of Iraq. Is deeply concerned regarding the current political situation in Syria and totally opposes the bloodshed, declaring that neither the use of force nor any foreign intervention is the solution. AUA supports peaceful public protests and freedom for a democratic Syrian nation. Supports unconditionally all Assyrian (Syriac) political parties and organizations in obtaining constitutional recognition and securing their rights as the indigenous people of Syria.

Assyrian Universal Alliance