The 6th ‘Armenia-Diaspora' Conference commences in Yerevan
The 6th Pan-Armenian ‘Armenia-Diaspora’ Conference has commenced in Yerevan. The conference has brought together around 1 500 people from 70 countries worldwide, as well as local high-ranking government officials and spiritual leaders.
This year’s conference is held under the title: ‘Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility’. Some thematic sessions, focusing on the most topical issues for Armenia, will be held as part of the event:
- the country’s economic development
- peculiarities of the defense policy
- regional challenges and national security
- foreign policy
- elimination of the consequences of the Armenian genocide
- major problems related to preservation of the Armenian identity
The conference has drawn close attention, especially from compatriots living abroad, as the idea of setting up the Pan-Armenian Council is expected to be discussed at the conference this year. Earlier, JAMnews published an analytical article on the aforesaid theme, as well as on Armenia-Diaspora relations in general.
Commenting on the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement that ‘there are some successful Armenians, whose personal and institutional capacities … are even greater than those of several governmental agencies combined’, Naira Hayrumyan, a JAMnews columnist, wrote as follows:
“The assets of well-off Armenians are oftentimes comparable to Armenia’s state budget. However, in order to attract that kind of capital to Armenia, the authorities will have to create transparent government structures and be deprived of the monopoly in the traditional areas. Perhaps this could be done through setting up national network structures.”
As Serzh Sargsyan pointed out in his opening remarks at the conference, ‘Armenia now firmly stands on its own feet and has the power and the will to develop a concept of strategic partnership with the Diaspora.’ He added that the next conference would mark the launch of a ‘four million Armenia’ project: “We have matured in order to have a serious discussion on the issue of organizing repatriation.”
Serzh Sargsyan emphasized that ‘facilitation of mutual involvement with the Armenian Diaspora, promotion of the preservation of the Armenian identity abroad, assisting our compatriots, especially the Syrian Armenians who are facing emergency situations,’ have been at the heart of Armenia’s state policy.
The Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, also addressed the conference participants. He noted that Armenia and Diaspora have a unanimous approach to the national unity issue: it should be beyond any personal interests and circumstances.
“One shouldn’t turn his back on the motherland just because something has gone wrong or he has been facing injustice. We are the soldiers and servants of our motherland, and that should be our motto. We should love our motherland just because it’s ours. The motherland gives power to each of us,” said Karekin II.
The conference will finish on 20 September.
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