10, 2012

President Serzh Sargsyan’s speech at the AGBU 87th General Meeting


Your Holiness,
Eminent Fathers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Honorable Leaders of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, Benefactors and Guests,

Some hours later, at the spiritual center of the Armenian nation, Holy See of Etchmiadzin another historic fact will be registered: the 87th General Meeting of the Armenian General Benevolent Union will take place, which I am confident will give a start to the development and implementation of new ideas.

I welcome you all and cordially congratulate on this occasion.

I highly praise dedication and assistance provided by the Union to our Motherland, as well as patriotic activities of the Union in Armenia and Spyurk.

Geographical expansion of over a century-long educational, cultural, social, church building, humanitarian and other activities of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, aimed at the preservation of the Armenian nation, have also a moral dimension – it is about the preservation of the spiritual legacy for the next generations, love for Motherland, dedication and enrooting of the sense of responsibility.

The empowerment of the Motherland must be the utmost goal of the entire Armenian nation. We have to pass it on to our generations, as once did Poghos Nubar, Alexander Mantashian, Galust Gyulbenkian, Michael Aramiants, Lazarian brothers, Alek Manukian, Melkonian brothers and many, many others.

Nowadays, through your active work you are creating the modern history of the AGBU, becoming thus a praiseworthy part of the Armenian history. The time will come and the future generations will immortalize also the names of many present here and will get inspired with your work and your lives.

Your productive and hard daily work bring to life programs aimed at the empowerment of the Motherland, preservation of the Spyurk’s potential, bringing together the Diaspora Armenians for the implementation of the national goals, and addressing issues of the national preservation.

The initiative aimed at the creation in Armenia of the educational center of the Union, which is aspiring to become an institution of the Armenian professionals and young intellectuals, is significant and essential. Once, through Alexander Mantashian’s sponsorship over 200 Armenian young boys and girls received education in the best institutions of Russia and Europe; many of them later became prominent figures in the areas of science, culture, arts and literature.
Almost half a century ago, thanks to the Alek Manukian cultural foundation dozens of the Armenian schools, cultural and youth centers, churches, museums were created in different countries of the world which have been carrying out an important mission since.

Education of the Armenian youth has always been in the center of the Armenian benefactors’ attention. Powerful, developed and independent state is based on the educated society and on the idea to have well-educated generations.

It is admirable that today the members of the Union carry on with the traditions of the national benefactors. Existence of competitive youth is the promise of a competitive Armenia.

Dear Attendees,

Cooperation with the Holy See of Etchmiadzin is an important axis of the AGBU activities. Through the assistance of the benefactors and efforts of the Holy See, many churches have been renovated, spiritual schools have been established and Armenian Homes have been built.

The Union has always been able to detect precisely call of time, to feel its pulse, national issues and national priorities, prioritizing and rethinking the objectives. All of it has been giving birth to multiple new ideas and projects launched just in time. Today too, the AGBU, inspired and guided by the ideas of its founders, continues it dedicated service to the nation, making new achievements and registering new success.

The AGBU is there where there are Armenians in need; it is proved by the creation in association with the Ministry of Diaspora Issues of the Center for the Coordination of the Syrian-Armenians problems which has been created to support our Syrian-Armenian brothers and sisters who are in need today. The AGBU was the first structure which expeditiously responded to the dire situation in Syria and provided financial assistance to our compatriots.

I believe this is the place and time where I can state the following: we are not encouraging immigration from Syria. However we stand by each Armenian who will chose to come to Armenia. We will share whatever we have with every Armenian and I believe that’s the only credible option. And if the AGBU becomes part of the process we will certainly solve this problem successfully.

From day one of our independence, the AGBU stood firmly by our long-dreamed for young state. It stood by Armenia which was facing challenges brought forward by the earthquake, war, and hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Therefore it is quite natural that the Armenian state, which is becoming stronger by day, today stands by you, always ready to assist, to support the Armenian General Benevolent Union in its patriotic and noble mission. The Motherland and Spyurk are interrelated just as a live organism and cannot move forward or withstand challenges without supporting each other. Who if not the reborn Armenia will take care of the world-spread Armenians; who if not the well-organized Armenian Spyurk will support the Armenians and Motherland. Success, omissions, defeat and victories belong to us all. We take pride in each other, we are strong together and together we will build the Armenia of all Armenians’ dream.

I am confident that you, benefactors will carry on with your activities with the same spirit, which has always been there and together we will register new achievements and new success. The AGBU will continue to engage and shape new, bright individuals and thanks to them will become the benefactor and caring supporter and advice-giver for the needy children of our nation in many countries.
I wish you strength and vigor, so that you continue to contribute with the same tenacity to Armenia-Spyurk cooperation and the honorable mission of empowering Motherland.

The stronger and more united Spyurk is, the more powerful and unbending the Motherland is. The more mature and developed Motherland is, the more vital Spyurk is. The Armenian Spyurk needs its Motherland’s care and consideration, and of course the Motherland needs Spyurk.

I wish you successful and productive work.
Thank you.

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