2014 will positively differ from past year, says deputy minister

In an interview with Tert.am, a deputy minister of diaspora, Serzh Srapionyan, commented on their agency’s accomplishments of the past year, addressing both the achievements and drawbacks.

How do you evaluate 2015 in terms of the activities towards the Armenian Genocide recogntion?

I consider it a success. Genocide recognition is a time-consuming legal-political process, so no wonder that it is considered one of the fundamental problems of the state. A proof of it is also the fact that a state commission coordinating the Armenian Genocide centennial events was created under the Armenian president’s April 23 2013 decree, and it is headed by the president himself. Over the past year, the commission convened two sessions – one in Brussels (April 5) and the other in Yerevan (April 26-27). Those sessions heard the reports on the committee’s work, making evaluations and finalizing projects and plans.

Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora is carrying out considerably great work towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the elimination of its consequences. The daily activities were summed up in the fifth Armenia-Diaspora [Conference] and the seventh [conference  of] journalists’, which attracted over 1,100 representatives from around 60 countries of the world. The fifth Armenia-Diaspora Conference adopted a statement which you can find on the Ministry’s website.

To what extent did the events organized and the steps undertaken meet the assigned targets?

The Genocide centennial events organized by Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora were by all means targeted, and they do promote awareness among people who are not thoroughly informed of the 1915-1923 atrocities, and an understanding that atrocities against humanity will continue as long as the Armenian Genocide is not recognized. As evidence we can cite the self-declared Islamic State’s activities against the Iraqi Kurds, Yazidis, Alevis, Armenians and other ethnicities.

What tangible outcomes would you point out to in terms of the activities with diaspora-Armenians?

Numerous projects outlined and implemented by Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora contribute to not only the deepening and development of the Armenia-Diaspora ties but also closer and stronger relations among the Armenian communities in the Diaspora. The increasing number of the Diaspora-Armenians visiting their homeland and the successful outcomes of our projects are proofs of that. Let me also note that many Diaspora-Armenians set up their own business in Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) thanks to the Ministry of Diaspora, and they now successfully carry on their work.

In her interviews, news conferences, speeches and end-of-year reports, Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan provided a detailed and exhaustive description of the activities carried out by the Ministry, and their outcomes. You can more thoroughly get familiarized with them on the websites of both the Ministry and different media outlets.

What omissions do you see in the Ministry’s activities and what should and could have been done?

I think Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora has fully and successfully implemented the projects outlined. Omissions and incomplete tasks are of course possible in any work. The staff of Armenia’s Ministry of Diaspora is considering them under the minister’s leadership, trying to find solutions. I don’t think there have been serious omissions or errors in the Diaspora Ministry’s activities.

What kind of year will 2015 be for the Armenians against the background of 2014? What expectations do you have?

Hopefully, 2015 will positively differ from 2014. On the New Year’s threshold, it is not only our, but also the entire Armenian nation’s desire. I expect the Armenian people to be more consolidated and united on the 100th anniversary of Genocide and [I expect us] to offer our support to the state. I am also hopeful that the Artsakh issue will be solved or at least become solvable in 2014 and peace will dominate our country, with borders being more secure and people doing peaceful and creative work.

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