UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said commemorating the 1915 events and cooperating to establish facts about what really happened should enhance the world's collective determination to prevent atrocious crimes in the future.
The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.
The Ottoman Empire relocated Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts, resulting in some Armenian casualties during the relocation process.
"[Ban Ki-moon] is fully aware of the sensitivities related to the characterization of what happened in 1915, 100 years ago," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
"Secretary-General firmly believes that commemorating and remembering those tragic events of 1915 and continuing to cooperate with a view to establishing the facts about what happened should strengthen our collective determination to prevent similar atrocity crimes from ever happening in the future," he said.
He said the wording he used did not have any legal implications.
Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey has officially refuted Armenian allegations about the events saying that although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.
The Turkish government has repeatedly called on historians to study Ottoman archives pertaining to the era in order to uncover what actually happened between the Ottoman government and its Armenian citizens.
Turkey's official position against allegations of “genocide” is that it acknowledges the past experiences were a great tragedy and that both parties suffered heavy casualties, including hundreds of Muslim Turks.
Turkey agrees that there were certainly Armenian casualties during World War I, but that it is impossible to define these incidents as “genocide.”