Dear Participants of the Conference,
Ninety years ago on this day – November 22, 1920, the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson made an Arbitral Award regarding Armenia’s borders.
It was probably one of the most momentous events for our nation in the 20th century which was called up to reestablish historic justice and eliminate consequences of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire. The Arbitral Award defined and recognized internationally Armenia’s borders within which the Armenian people, who had gone through hell of Mets Eghern, were to build their statehood.
Perfidy and brutal force thwarted opportunities for calling President Wilson’s Arbitral Award to life. Nevertheless, its significance is not to be underestimated: through that decision the aspiration of the Armenian people for the lost Motherland had obtained vital and legal force.
With the collapse of empires after World War I, a number of European nations had been endowed with the opportunity to achieve self-determination through the creation of their own nation states. President Wilson wished for Armenia to be one of those nations which would employ all opportunities offered by the European civilization. He knew what the responsibility of a great state means; he did not ignore sufferings of small nations.
Even today, through the power of his historic legacy, Woodrow Wilson entreats to strengthen international law, prevent genocides and undertake measures to restrain the impunity of brutal force. He is the one whom the grateful Armenian nation remembers and will remember for ever as an advocate of justice and a true friend.
Scientific studies and analysis of that historic ruling are of utmost importance, and I wish the Conference productive works.