Statements and messages of the President of RA
President Serzh Sargsyan’s remarks delivered at the Armenia-Diaspora conference working group meeting
I cordially greet you. We have met to discuss one very clearly posed question, namely the establishment of the Pan-Armenian Council, and in this context, the future of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation, in general.
National unity is, of course, a very important goal, which is constantly on the agenda of every nation. Undoubtedly, the concentration of common forces and the proper distribution of resources are necessary for each people to effectively respond to emerging challenges.
This is particularly important for those peoples scattered all over the world. In the case of Armenians, it was due to Genocide and persecutions.
To be born, live and work in the Diaspora was not the free choice of the ancestors of the people present here. It was due the violence perpetrated against them and the criminal deprivation of their homeland.
Under these conditions for us, the Armenians, the need for nationwide unity and the form of organizing effective cooperation has always been high on the agenda. It was particularly acute due to the lack of independent statehood and fully-fledged national-State institutions.
It is no secret that for Armenian intellectuals living in Soviet Armenia and in the Diaspora this used to be one of the most important issues. However, it is also clear that the acute ideological division that prevailed in the world could not at all promote this aspiration.
Today, as Armenia is independent, we already have a well-established statehood; we are in a more favorable situation in order to deal with this and other tasks.
We have accumulated a very rich and diversified experience of discussing issues of pan-Armenian unity and seeking solutions to these issues. I think there is no need to talk about it. However, a number of conclusions can be drawn from the path that has been traversed.
In my opinion, the first conclusion is that the modern national State is the most important and most viable form of self-organization of any people. Armenia today is like that, with all the necessary institutions, which along with other important functions, can properly protect human rights and freedoms, national-State interests and provide for security.
Yes, the State of Armenia may be imperfect, but there is every reason to strengthen it, reform and better it. Therefore, whatever structure we may create, it should complement and support the statehood of Armenia.
The Genocide 100th anniversary commemorations testified that our State is ready and can assume the role of a leader. Moreover, this leadership was expected in the Diaspora.
Second: whatever structure we create, it will not be called upon to replace or compete with the already existing organizational structures in the Diaspora. The purpose of this process is not to replace the traditional structures with a new one, but to shape a common ground for existing structures, as well as for all bright and prominent personalities representing the Diaspora
Indeed, we must realize that the Armenian individual is the most powerful resource of the worldwide-scattered Armenian nation with an inherent bright personality. Moreover, these bright individuals live in different countries of the world, acting as their full-fledged and devoted citizens.
Let no one think that it is possible or necessary to create any centripetal, pyramidal all-Armenian structure. Absolutely not. There is absolutely no need for this. So, posing the question that way is not only non-realistic, but also harmful.
I think that given the opportunities offered by modern telecommunications, we need to create a network structure based on innovative approaches. That working network should be the best platform for free exchange of ideas and development of common programs.
We are approaching a very important milestone. In May 2018, we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the first Republic of Armenia and the heroic May battles. I think this will be the most appropriate and symbolic reason for convoking the first meeting of the Pan-Armenian Council.
These remarks should be seen as an introduction to the meeting and a general overview of my approaches.
For a long time now, RA Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutyunyan has been working extensively on this issue. I am now giving the floor to you, Mr. Harutyunyan. Please, present the work done by you, and in this way, we will start the exchange of views and discussion.