Event dedicated to 80th anniversary of Lebanon’s Zartonk Armenian Daily to be held in Yerevan

On September 20 at 16:00, with the support of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, the Tumanyan Building of the National Library of Armenia will host an event dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Lebanon’s Zartonk Armenian Daily (Address: 72 Teryan Street, Yerevan).

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan receives delegates of Argentine-Armenian community

On September 19, within the scope of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference taking place under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility”, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received representatives of the Armenian community of Argentina, including Chairman of AGBU Argentina Chapter Rouben Ketikian; Honorary Chairman of the AGBU Rouben Keshishian; Vice-Chairman of AGBU Argentina Chapter Antonio Sarafian; member of the Executive Committee for the Pan-Armenian Games Avo Tokatlian; Chairman of the ARF-D South America Central Committee Khatchik Der Ghougassian; member of the ARF-D South America Central Committee Eduardo Kostanian and editor of Armenia Daily Kevork Kazanchian.

Greeting the guests, the Minister touched upon the conference and stated that only through combined efforts will it be possible to achieve an outcome. The sides considered issues concerning the Armenian community of Argentina, particularly the active participation of AGBU Buenos Aires in the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement through which AGBU Buenos Aires will provide the music schools of Artsakh with musical instruments.

During the meeting, the Minister also presented the Support to Bordering Villages Program and suggested that the Armenian community of Argentina also participate in this initiative aimed at preserving the Armenian identity.

Panel session devoted to opportunities for Diaspora Armenian business and professional networks was held

On September 19, the panel session entitled “Opportunities of the business and professional networks of the Armenian Diaspora” was held as part of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference under the heading “Issues on the Development of Armenia” and was devoted to the 3rd Business Forum of the Armenian Trade Network (ATN). The session was moderated by board member of the Armenian Trade Network Vahram Pirjanian (Canada).

Member of the Parliament of Romania, President of the Union of Armenians of Romania, President of the Romania-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and founder of the Romania-Armenia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Varujan Vosganian gave a speech entitled “The Developments of the World Economy and the Major Role of Transnational Networks”. In his speech, Vosganian attached importance to the acceleration of the pace of development of Armenia’s economy and the revitalization of investments and particularly stated the following: “It is the sacred duty of Diaspora Armenians to combine their efforts and contribute to Armenia’s development. Let’s not just talk about morals and patriotism. Let’s also touch upon economic issues. Armenia can’t have a developed economy, if we don’t have a pan-Armenian network. We need to seriously consider this matter.”

In his speech, Executive Director and General Manager of the Bank of Sharjah Varoujan Nerguizian (UAE) presented the new opportunities that global markets have to offer for Armenian businessmen. He stated that the solutions hinged on the engagement of the whole potential of the Armenian Diaspora and the progressive technologies for economic development will be effective.

General Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Armenia, Vice-President of the Armenian Trade Network Andranik Alexanyan gave a speech entitled “The Potential of the Armenian Business World and the Imperative of Cooperation”.

In his speech, Alexanyan stated that the organization has representatives based in 20 countries and is trying to revitalize Armenian business and foster Armenia’s economic development through them.

Executive Director of TUMO Center for Creative Technologies Mary Lou Papazian (USA) delivered a speech entitled “Investments of the Diaspora and Armenia in the Education Sector: Risks and Expectations” and presented the Center’s successes and perspectives.

In his speech entitled “The First Resource of Armenia is its People”, founder and board chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund Garo Armen (USA) called on the representatives of the business forum to take action.

The session ended with a discussion during which the participants made interesting proposals and shared their interesting comments and suggestions.

“Vision for awareness of young Diaspora Armenians about national belonging” panel session held as part of 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference

On September 19, the panel session entitled “Vision for awareness of young Diaspora Armenians about national belonging” was held under the heading “Issues on Preservation of the Armenian Identity” as part of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference taking place under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility”.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan participated in the session.

The session was moderated by national and public figure, Chairperson of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Lebanon Regional Committee Seta Khdshian.

Director of AGBU Europe Chapter, coordinator of “Koriz” (Seed) Youth Program Nicola Tavitian (Belgium) delivered a speech entitled “Excellence in Leadership: Additional Value for the Diaspora”.

Executive Director of Birthright Armenia/Depi Hayk Foundation Sevan Kabakian (Armenia) touched upon young Armenians, noting that after many centuries, we Armenians have a generation of Armenians born and raised in Armenia and that this is our nation’s greatest achievement.

Representative of the Youth Office of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun Sargis Mkrtchyan (Armenia) talked about the issues on preservation of the national identity of young Diaspora Armenians, noting that one of the ways of reaching out to the hearts and minds of young Armenians is the Internet and the application of the ways of using it literately. “We need to bring up young people who are politicized, have a national mindset and will be able to lead their respective communities,” Mkrtchyan said, adding the following: “It is necessary to examine the problems of all Armenian communities in detail and draw up a development strategy for each of them.”

Journalist Shiraz Jerejian (Lebanon) gave a speech entitled “Transmitting Armenianness to Young Armenians”. In his speech, Jerejian emphasized that a sectoral mindset and sectoral activities are dangerous for all Armenians around the world and Armenian communities of the Diaspora. “In order to instill in young Armenians national awareness, it is necessary to not only bring them to the homeland, but also teach them how to differentiate between true and phony values,” he said.

Director of RepatArmenia Foundation Vardan Marashlyan stated that his organization’s goal today is to establish contacts with 100,000 young Armenians who see their future in Armenia.

Director of “Hamshenka” International Women’s Union of Hamshen-Armenians Saida Ohanyan talked about the problems of converted Hamshen-Armenians. “We need to increase the number of Armenian media outlets. Today, there are few Armenian-language media outlets that cover the issues of Hamshen-Armenians. We need to have more media outlets,” she said.

Expert in the transfer of technologies, representative of the AGBU Armenian Virtual University Maral Nersesian stated that the Ministry of Diaspora is working effectively to organize the Diaspora and is a prospective organization in that regard.

Co-founder of the Committee of Armenian Students of U.S. Public Schools Laura Atoyan stressed that there are very few Armenian children attending Armenian schools in the United States and that the efforts aimed at bringing them to Armenian schools and into the Armenian environment need to start from their parents, and this is exactly what her organization is trying to do.

Chairwoman of the Armenian Relief Society Akhalkalak Karine Tadevosyan suggested organizing teacher training courses particularly for the Armenians of Javkahk.

French-Armenian repatriate writer and publicist Hagop Balian; representative of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Serkuhi Janian; writer, publicist and journalist Giragos Gouyoumdjian (Kuwait); writer and pedagogue Anoush Naggashian (Jerusalem); homeroom teacher of the Hrant Dink School in Paris and linguist Garabed Dakessian and others made their proposals and shared their comments and suggestions devoted to the topic.

Initial plans for events dedicated to 100th anniversary of First Republic of Armenia and 100th anniversary of the Battles of May discussed

On September 19, a roundtable discussion devoted to the initial plans for the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First Republic of Armenia, the 100th anniversary of the Battles of May and the 2,800th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan was held as part of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference.

During the discussion, RA Minister of Defense Vigen Sargsyan touched upon the large-scale official events and festivities, concerts, cultural, historical and cognitive and patriotic programs, competitions, conferences and initiatives that are scheduled to be organized and conducted in Armenia and the Diaspora.

Vigen Sargsyan emphasized the fact that the heroic battles of the Armenian nation play a special and major role in the history of the Armenian people, and so maximum efforts will be made to present those events properly. The Minister of Defense answered several questions from the participants of the discussion and listened to their proposals for organizing the festivities.

Discussion on issues of borderline settlements held as part of 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference

Another session held under the heading “Specifics of the Defense Policy of the Republic of Armenia Amid the Current Challenges” was held as part of the 6thArmenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference on September 19.

The speakers of the session entitled “Sustainable Development and Reliable Defense of Borderline Settlements” touched upon the activities and future initiatives of the commission chaired by the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia and in charge of coordinating the issues of borderline settlements and highlighted the need to solve the recorded problems through concrete and consistent actions as soon as possible.

Among the speakers were representatives of interested government agencies and structures, as well as pan-Armenian unions, societies, associations and non-governmental organizations having carried out charity and development programs in the borderline villages of the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh. In their speeches, they touched upon the complex actions taken to raise the level of protection of borderline settlements, as well as their development programs and initiatives.

Armenian PM: “We need to straighten our back and continue building together the country we all dream about “

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan participated in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian  Conference at K. Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. The Head of Government delivered a speech. Below is the full text of the Prime Minister’s speech.

”Dear Compatriots,

I welcome the participants of the 6th Pan-Armenian Armenia-Diaspora Conference and wish it fruitful work.

The Conference gives us the opportunity to discuss the common issues that we are concerned about and plan our activities with an eye on the future and taking into consideration the lessons of the past.

First and foremost, my belief is that Armenia has a huge potential. I am convinced that we have all the chances to become a modern and progressive country and to respond adequately to internal and external challenges.

Today’s world, including Armenia, is going through structural reforms. We are implementing reforms in all parts of our country, in all aspects of life, to secure Armenia’s worthy place in the world.

That is why our reforms aim not only the settlement and resolution of today’s burning issues, but they also seek to lay the groundwork for making Armenia competitive in a changing world.

To become competitive and develop, we need sustainable, long-term growth in all lifeline areas of public life. That is why we need a sharp increase in effectiveness in all spheres, and we need fundamental transformations that can change the way we think and act.

This is our team’s ultimate goal, and we do not see any reason why we can not succeed together.

Dear Compatriots,

Over many centuries, we have struggled and mobilized our forces just when we felt threats to our survival… We are proud of the fact that our nation, unlike many other nations, maintained its identity and was able to develop and make achievements.

We have gone through trials, persecutions, oppression, genocide and attempted extermination … In all our troubles, our nation has never lost its self-esteem, dignity and did not give up the dream of having an independent Armenia. Our hardships are incomparable to those privations our ancestors went through.

As a result, we exist today; we have our INDEPENDENT statehood. This is the supreme value.

I am convinced that building a modern, efficacious, logical, evolving country on the basis of deeply-rooted good traditions is an inspiring endeavor that we have to unite around.

We need to ask ourselves how we can participate and how we can serve that purpose. We must ask ourselves why others can, and we not, and thus we will make a point of it.
I am convinced that today we all look forward to building a Free, Safe, Fair and Intelligent Armenia, and we have all the preconditions for it.

Today we are a 25-years-old, young, independent, victorious nation. We stand firmly by our Artsakh, guaranteeing its right to self-determination and freedom of expression, ready to respond to any encroachment at any moment.

Today we have an over 7 million-strong Diaspora. Many have stood by Armenia since its independence, representing Armenia at all corners of the globe, participating in the process of building our country in different formats. We are deeply grateful to them and appreciate this approach.

It is also a fact that some of you were objectively or subjectively disappointed. What shall we do now: feel hurt and carry on like that?

I am convinced that we have no right to be despondent, disappointed, frustrated, and disdainful to each other. It is just illogical and will lead us to a deadlock. Even if we do not have our share of sin, we all have something else we can do.

We need to straighten our back and continue building together the country we all dream about; the country that wakes up every day with firm determination to build, develop and add something new for the sake of its supreme value – the man.

We need an advanced and developed country that will have a gravitational force and will reverse the migration trends and will be able to resist such a painful phenomenon as is the isolation from the community, namely the “emigration from the Diaspora.”

On this road, we must be realistic, sincere and constructive, get rid of all kinds of illusions, we must clearly and sincerely assess the expectations and reality of both Armenia and the Diaspora.

We need to agree on our further steps and future visions, evaluate our shortcomings, look forward optimistically, work out and persist.

Everyone can have a direct and immediate role in our development and reform process, regardless of citizenship, position, profession or irrespective of how many days is spent in Homeland: in a word, all those who are not indifferent to the fate of Armenia and wish to participate in the future of their homeland.

Dear Colleagues,

In a few words, I would like to talk about the reforms we are implementing now, about our steps and the logic behind them.

We are convinced that successful are those countries where creative, hard-working and positively concerned individuals who generates surplus-value for the country feel themselves in demand. Our goal is to make Armenia such a country.

This is just the goal pursued in our five-year government program. At present, we are developing the Armenia – 2030 Development Strategy; we are developing Armenia’s digital agenda, without which we can not achieve growth and development; we are implementing a number of per-sector reforms.

In particular:
The government is set to reform the educational system at all levels in a bid to provide the opportunity for our citizen to gain knowledge, abilities and skills vital in the modern world.

We have initiated a public governance reform, aimed at improving the decision-making mechanisms, developing the public institutions’ capacity in order to make them more productive, human-centered, transparent and inclusive. We have already initiated a number of projects that will enable our Diaspora to increase their participation in both public and private sectors.

The Government is undertaking complex measures to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial system.

We have adopted intolerance towards corruption; we are working to enhance the image of a public servant.

We are implementing a program of healthcare management modernization to provide better services and make the system more effective.

In agriculture, the focus is placed on intensive farming, while providing farmers with privileged lending resources – 2% loans for the purchase of farm machinery, hail-proof nets, drip irrigation systems, and others.

We have completely revised the logic of the development of Marzes and communities, focusing on measurable and pragmatic five-year development programs.

We are striving to improve the business environment, which should also be reflected in the Doing Business rating of Armenia.

We are consistently improving tax and customs administration to make business faster and more productive. The efforts aimed at making of Armenia an effective and flexible platform for business and investment will be continuous.

Armenia is attractive not only for its internal market, but also as a convenient platform to enter the larger third-party markets.

EAEU – a 180 million-strong marketplace, with regard to which Armenian businesses enjoy specific privileges;
Neighboring IRAN – a 80 million-strong market, a free economic zone on the border; talks are underway with the EAEU on having preferential trade regimes;
European Union and the USA – the GSP+ regime, which enables Armenian goods to reach the EU and US markets under preferential terms. Moreover, those agreement due to be signed with the European Union this November will deepen cooperation;
Neighboring Georgia – Free Trade Agreement.

We want our scientific and cultural figures, administrators, and internationally recognized compatriots in the Diaspora to become involved in the ongoing reforms to bring in a new culture of governance and put the knowledge and potential of our Diaspora-based best professionals at the service of our national goals.

Let me cite the fact that our compatriots who came to Armenia after the Syrian crisis have changed the service sector of Armenia with their diligence, dedication and business culture.

Dear Colleagues,

We are on the right path as evidenced by the following figures:
economic activity growth – 6.2%
industrial production growth – 12.7%
increase in State budget revenues – 6%, and increase in VAT – 9.3%, simultaneously the number of checks and inspections have been reduced by 47.8%
exports growth – 21.6%
imports growth – 28.5 percent, the structure of which is encouraging,
the number of visits to Armenia has increased by 24.3%.

My colleagues will talk about other figures.

We are aware that the results of the Government’s one year’s work are not enough to qualitatively change the lives of our citizens. We will continue along this path all the while developing and implementing new projects.

I am confident that we will achieve the proposed targets sooner or later through the joint efforts of all segments of the Armenian nation by expanding the scope of our commitments and making it more effective, as we have a huge advantage here. Particularly, Diaspora Armenians understand very well the kind of business environment foreign investors are looking for and can guide us in our effort. The best solution to this problem is the deepening of multifaceted cooperation. It is also crucial to discuss general, as well as objective and specific projects.

To this end, we are planning to host a large economic and investment forum next fall to discuss Armenia’s future, the vision of Armenia, present successful and ongoing projects, as well as innovative business plans in both public and private formats. We are committed to making that forum annual.

Dear Colleagues,

As I mentioned earlier this year addressing our compatriots from the Diaspora, Armenia and the Diaspora are two in one, representing one chain of history and a single destiny. We have responsibility for each other.

We have no other option than building a good country and having a strong and prosperous homeland. This will allow us to have a strong position and dictate our country’s interests and successfully promote them in the future world.

I wish to voice another idea and I want to be correctly understood. Any pro-Armenian cause, mo matter where it was started and who initiated it, should definitely have to be connected with Armenia by means of the aforementioned gravitational power. Without such networking it would be difficult to implement a systematic pro-Armenian activity.

My colleagues will provide detailed information on several important initiatives undertaken by the Government of Armenia. I suggest you partake in the discussion of these initiatives.

Reiterating my greetings to all of you, I wish the conference successful proceedings.”

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