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In 2019, US Senate officially recognized genocide of Armenians as a matter of foreign policy.

Is there a formal set of criteria (such as the article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) that the US Senate uses to determine whether or not a particular event constitutes a genocide?

If yes, where can I find such document?

Note: Another question deals with the same issue under the international law. I am interested in how American authorities deal with this.

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What criteria does the Senate use to decide whether or not a particular event is a genocide?

If yes, where can I find such document?

Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–441).

In this Act—

(1) the term ‘‘genocide’’ means an offense under subsection (a) of section 1091 of title 18, United States Code;

18 U.S. Code § 1091. Genocide.

(a) Basic Offense.—Whoever, whether in time of peace or in time of war and with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such—

(1) kills members of that group;

(2) causes serious bodily injury to members of that group;

(3) causes the permanent impairment of the mental faculties of members of the group through drugs, torture, or similar techniques;

(4) subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part;

(5) imposes measures intended to prevent births within the group; or

(6) transfers by force children of the group to another group;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

Though jurisdiction of the United States is limited, recognition of genocide is not.


In recognizing the genocide of Armenians, the Senate used prior recognition by others as listed in S.Res.150 — 116th Congress (2019-2020), in addition to the above.

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance.

Whereas the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of an estimated 1,500,000 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;

Whereas the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, Sr., 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 “a campaign of race extermination,” and, on July 16, 1915, was instructed by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the “Department approves your procedure … to stop Armenian persecution”;

Whereas President Woodrow Wilson encouraged the formation of Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, which raised approximately $116,000,000 (more than $2,500,000,000 in 2019 dollars) between 1915 and 1930, and the Senate adopted resolutions condemning the massacres;

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 the Crime of Genocide, invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the 20th century;

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, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”, setting the stage for the Holocaust;

Whereas the United States has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide—

(1) through the May 28, 1951, written statement of the United States Government to the International Court of Justice regarding the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and Proclamation No. 4838 issued by President Ronald Reagan on April 22, 1981; and

(2) by House Joint Resolution 148, 94th Congress, agreed to April 8, 1975, and House Joint Resolution 247, 98th Congress, agreed to September 10, 1984; and

Whereas the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–441) establishes that the prevention of atrocities is a national interest of the United States 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”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States—

(1) to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance;

(2) to reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and

(3) to encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.

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