The Armenian genocide recognition process started in 1965 in Uruguay, on occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. On 20 April, the Uruguay Senate and the House of Representatives adopted a joint Resolution (Law 13.326) declaring "the following 24th of April 'Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Martyrs', in honour of the members of that nationality slain in 1915." The resolution did not mention the word 'genocide'.
Other than Cyprus, no other country followed suit for the next twenty years. Turkey had a number of trump cards at its disposal: it was an important NATO ally in the Cold War, while Armenia was a Soviet Republic. Turkey, moreover, had powerful friends in the US Congress and State Department, and throughout the Western business world. Meanwhile, deadly terrorist attacks against Turkish diplomats by the Lebanon-based Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) tainted the Armenian cause.
By the 1990s, however, official apologies for historical wrongs were becoming increasingly common in Western democracies. Around the world, governments were acknowledging a moral responsibility for the acts of previous generations, whether to do with wartime conduct, slavery, or the mistreatment of indigenous populations. In the absence of movement on the issue within Turkey, the Armenian question was picked up by parliaments in a number of other countries, including the US and France, and by the European Parliament.
The following are excerpts from some of the most notable resolutions commemorating and/or recognizing the Armenian genocide.
18 June 1987, Resolution on a political solution to the Armenian question:
"…Believes that the tragic events in 1915-1917 involving the Armenians living in the territory of the Ottoman Empire constitute genocide within the meaning of the convention on the prevention and the punishment of the crime of genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948."
15 November 2000:
"…Calls, therefore, on the Turkish Government and the Turkish Grand National Assembly to give fresh support to the Armenian minority, as an important part of Turkish society, in particular by public recognition of the genocide which that minority suffered before the establishment of the modern state of Turkey…"
28 September 2005:
"…Calls on Turkey to recognise the Armenian genocide; considers this recognition to be a prerequisite for accession to the European Union;"
15 June 2005, German Bundestag Resolution:
"Deplores the deeds of the Young Turks government of the Ottoman Empire, which led to the almost total annihilation of the Armenians in Anatolia. It regrets the inglorious role of the German Reich which, in the face of the wide variety of information available regarding the organised expulsion and annihilation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, did not even attempt to stop the atrocities."
"Numerous independent historians, parliaments and international organizations qualified the deportation and extermination of Armenians as genocide."
19 April 2005, Parliament of the Republic of Poland resolution:
"The Parliament of the Republic of Poland pays its respects to the victims of the genocide committed on the Armenians in Turkey during the 1st World War. The memory of the victims, the crime committed and the need to condemn it is a moral obligation for the whole of humanity, all nations and people of good will."
28 May 1998, France National Assembly Law:
"France publicly recognizes the Armenian genocide of 1915."
25 April 1996, Hellenic Parliament Resolution:
"The 24th of April is established as the day of commemoration of the genocide of Armenians by Turkey."
15 April 1995, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation:
"Condemns the perpetrators of the extermination of Armenians from 1915 to 1922; Expresses its deep sympathy to the Armenian people and recognizes April 24 as a day of remembrance for the victims of the Genocide."
21 December 2004, House of Representatives of the States General Assembly:
"Asks the government within the framework of its dialogue with Turkey to continuously and expressly raise the recognition of the Armenian genocide."