The 27th CONGRESS ERBIL, IRAQ DECEMBER 2-4, 2010
The 27th World Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) took place in Erbil, Iraq from December 2 through December 4, 2010, with the participation of Assyrian representatives from around the world. After extensive, elaborate and open discussions on the condition of Assyrians on both the ancestral lands and in the Diaspora or exile, the following resolutions were unanimously approved.
WHEREAS, the Assyrian Universal Alliance, a representative body of Assyrian organizations worldwide,
a) considers Iraq, the birthplace and ancestral land of the Assyrian nation, a very special and holy land in which God chose to establish His Garden of Eden where he placed Adam and Eve, His first creations, the proud birthplace of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires whose people gave the world its first civilization and the Code of Law, a land whose people developed one of the first written languages, a land whose awe-inspiring archaeological artefacts adorn the museums of the western world, a land whose scientists, philosophers and learned people have contributed so much to the human civilization and mankind; and
b) observes that Iraq is a land whose inhabitants have endured many wars, injustices and heart-breaking suffering regardless of their religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation; and
c) is deeply and acutely concerned with the situation of Assyrians in their homeland, where Assyrians are not recognized as the indigenous people of the Federal Republic of Iraq, but rather as a religious minority; and
d) strongly condemns the intolerable denial of equal rights of our people in Iraq, and deplores all acts of persecution, terrorism, beheadings, kidnappings, extortion and killings committed against them, and particularly our religious figures, causing massive and disproportionate internal displacements and forced migration of our people from Iraq; and
- that the Sayedat al-Nejat Church in Baghdad was terrorized on October 31, 2010 resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent and defenceless parishioners, their children and holy fathers, the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) strongly condemns this act of terrorism and all others directed at the Christians in Iraq, and all other places of worship worldwide; and
- that the school bus bombing of our innocent people near Mosul on May 2, 2010 claimed the lives of several students, maimed many others, and left a dark psychological fear on the soul of the survivors; and
- that Assyrians have a long history of persecution throughout the Middle East including their persecution before and after WWI and the genocide committed against them during WWI; and
- the denial of our political and national rights at the Lausanne Conference and by the League of Nations after WWI; and
- the Simmel Massacre in 1933, the Soria Massacre in 1969, the subsequent oppression and persecution of Assyrians by the former Iraqi regimes; and
- the continued hostilities against indigenous Assyrians in Iraq since 2003 resulting in an exodus of one half of the 2.5 million of our people; and
- AUA’s unwavering condemnation of all acts of terrorism and violence worldwide; and
- Assyrians’ inherent identity as the most indigenous people of Iraq; and
- that Assyrians are entitled to an autonomous region on our ancestral lands in northern Iraq, as an integral part of the Federal Republic of Iraq; and
- the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iraq; and
NOW THEREFORE, the AUA declares the following:
- Condemns the tragedies against the people of Iraq and demands worldwide support for the federal government of Iraq to fight all kinds of terrorism in the country.
- Condemns the terrorist acts carried out against all Iraqis and including acts against Iraq’s indigenous and defenseless minorities.
- Welcomes the recent agreement establishing a new government for Iraq, and expresses gratitude to all the concerned parties who contributed to paving the way for this successful act.
- Pleads that the new government place a priority on the serious and dire situation of the Assyrian people and to help them in a fundamental way.
- Draws the attention of the world to the tragedies befallen the Assyrian people and demands worldwide support to save this ancient and indigenous people of Iraq.
- Demands the immediate establishment of an Assyrian autonomous region, 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,
- Demands the establishment and implementation of a repatriation program and necessary appropriation and assistance to returnees, so that our Assyrian people may serve as the most faithful citizens of Iraq, contributing to the development of our beloved homeland.
- Demands the establishment and implementation of a special program by the federal government of Iraq to take all necessary measures to save and protect the Assyrian archaeological, sacred and historical sites.
- Emphasizes the necessity of and thereby requests that in the forthcoming census of Iraq there be an accurate count of all Assyrians, which census shall include not only those Assyrians in Iraq but also all Assyrians in the Diaspora, and requests that Iraq’s federal government take all necessary measures to ensure that all future census programs are undertaken under an appropriate and effective level of supervision by recognised international and human rights organizations.
- Appeals to all countries neighbouring Iraq to extend their continued support to all Iraqi refugees, of whom the Assyrian people comprise a large number of the displaced population, and to advance incentives for their voluntary and safe return to Iraq.
- Appeals to all countries neighbouring Iraq to recognize the necessity of an Assyrian autonomous region in Iraq, and accordingly to encourage its immediate formation.
- Appeals to the international community and the United Nations to recognise the historical significance of the Assyrian rights, and to thereby encourage, motivate and implement plans and policy for the federal government of Iraq to secure an Assyrian autonomous region for Assyrians on our ancestral lands in northern Iraq, as an integral part of the Federal Republic of Iraq.
- Appeals to all Assyrian communities worldwide in the wake of the terrible suffering of the Assyrian people to join and collaborate together regardless of religious, ideological, national and cultural differences to establish an Assyrian autonomous region on our ancestral lands.
- Designates “1st of July” as “Assyria Day” and proclaims it a national day, and therefore requesting all Assyrians throughout the world to observe this day as a symbol of our national revival day, “Return to Assyria.”
- AND FURTHER, the AUA:
- Extends gratitude to all neighboring nations of Iraq for hosting and assisting the stranded Iraqi refugees, to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities of the Kurdistan territory for providing facilities to our displaced people, and to the United Nations, as well as the Islamic countries, for the valuable assistance they have extended to our Assyrian people.
- Commends the Islamic Republic of Iran for its support of strengthening the ties between Assyrian and other Iranian communities.
- Thanks particularly the Honorable Dr. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for delivering an encouraging welcoming message to the 27th AUA Congress.
- Thanks all Iraqi authorities for welcoming and hosting all Assyrians who participated in the AUA’s 27th World Congress, this being a first and historical time in our fatherland, and thanks especially the Honourable Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki for sending his representative to the AUA World Congress, wishing the Prime Minister well in forming a national government that represents all segments of the Iraqi society.
- Thanks and welcomes President Jalal Talabani for his proposal to establish a province for the Christians of Iraq, and thereby hoping that the President will bring to fruition such proposal while carrying out his duty to give full and fair effect to the Iraqi constitution, and to that end introduce and/or support the necessary constitutional amendments that will pave the way for the formation of an Assyrian autonomous region.
- Thanks President Massoud Barzani for proposing that a Christian and a Turkmen occupy the positions of Deputy Prime Minister or Vice President in the newly-formed Iraqi government, and hoping that the President will ensure that such proposal is also implemented in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
- Thanks all nationalistic Iraqi individuals and organizations who, fully aware of the historical and societal values of Iraq, have voiced their support of our Assyrian people, and thereby calling on the government of Iraq to take the necessary steps to prevent the departure of our Assyrian people from our homeland of Iraq.
- Thanks all nationalistic Iraqis who are actively working toward stabilizing the country and helping to usher in an era of peace, security and economic prosperity for all Iraqis.
- Encourages and pleads with our nation to support these valuable activities and participate in the economic recovery of our ancestral homeland.
- Thanks the Australian authorities for approving the construction of the Assyrian genocide memorial on public land in Sydney, Australia.
- Thanks the Armenian authorities for granting permission for the construction of the Assyrian genocide monument on public land in Yerevan, Armenia.