01, 2019

President Armen Sarkissian’s message during the first session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia of the seventh convocation

“Your Holiness,
Distinguished Mr. Chairman,
Honorable members of the National Assembly,

I congratulate you on the opening of the first session of the National Assembly of the seventh convocation. I congratulate all political forces which are represented in the Parliament and all its members. I wish you all success and efficient work. I also express gratitude to the National Assembly, its members of the previous convocations for their works starting from day one of our Independence.

Year 2018 became history: It was a year of great changes, challenges, expectations and aspirations, a year when the best qualities of our people – unity, togetherness, high moral and civil spirt – manifested themselves at their best.

The results of the December 9 elections, which were accepted by all participating political forces and international observers, endowed the current National Assembly with great legitimacy.

The first round of political changes is closing with the formation of a new National Assembly and a new government. The next round, that of aspirations and fulfillment of the pledges, the round of consistent, diligent, and daily work begins.

Distinguished Members of the Parliament,

You have received wide authorities to call to life the ideas of the Velvet Revolution and to justify the expectations of the people, to shape a new Armenia.
There is no doubt that your success will depend largely on the support of the citizens of Armenia and their participation in the social, political, economic, cultural, and educational life.

Article I of the Constitution proclaims the Republic of Armenia a “sovereign, democratic, social and legal state.” That provision not only asserts the fact but also serves as the most important principle and goal for our state. A goal which should never be viewed as fully achieved, which we constantly need to aspire to achieve by improving and by walking a long course.
Thus, many serious reforms in all areas and at all levels are needed to build a new Armenia.

The promise of prosperity and dignified life for each resident of Armenia remains a top priority.

Currently, on the legal as well as on the practical level these rights do not receive proper attention. In the new Armenia people’s economic, social, cultural, and educational rights and freedoms should become the most important component of human dignity. This very approach should be in the base of legal acts and activities of the state bodies.

Distinguished Members of the National Assembly,

The world is full of challenges and is becoming more turbulent and unpredictable. Traditional methods and approaches existing in the international relations, as well as institutions and structures very often lose their effectiveness. All this creates huge risks, but at the same time also new opportunities.

The 21st century is going to be a century of rapid changes, fast assessments and decisions, and deep connectivity.

We are standing at the gateway of a new world and need to transform our mentality and our approaches.

Well-aware of our real and imaginable advantages and shortcomings, armed with a precise vision and a program, we need to use the capacities of our diligent, creative, and intelligent nation in the 21st century.

Yes, times are changing, but our goals remain unchanged – to create a strong and developed Armenia, to promote the creation of a dignified citizen who is ready to face the challenges of the 21st century. These are our goals.

The new National Assembly will have to carry out rather extensive works to enhance the efficiency of the parliamentary diplomacy, considering the issues and challenges which Armenia faces in the area of foreign relations.

The list of these challenges is long: a fair and peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, greater level of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s security, modernization of the Armed Forces, enhanced cooperation in the Eurasian and European realms, deeper cooperation with the neighbors, with all global players, all partners and, certainly, with the friends, Armenia’s firmer standing in the world as a stable and trustworthy partner.

All this requires professional approaches and skills. I wish you every success.
The New Armenia should come forward as an important international hub for science, culture, education and new technologies, promoting innovation and creative mind.
We need to strive to give the world Noble Prize winners, a new Toumanian and Komitas, a new Arshil Gorki, Hambardzumian and Khatchaturian, a new Gulbenkian and Kirkorian.

And of course, along with legal, institutional, and structural reforms, in the New Armenia each of us needs to assume the responsibility to “reform” personally, to improve one’s system of values, understand one’s national and individual identity, and ensuing responsibilities.

Distinguished Members of the National Assembly,

The society, which we need to develop today, will be based on our performance, tolerance, respect for diversity and confidence, will be built on our ability to work, create and generate, will be built on the reasonable decisions adopted within these walls.

These decisions will be called up to improve our life not only today, but also tomorrow, for the coming generations.

The National Assembly is the place where ideas and viewpoints will clash. Diversity, freedom of speech, tolerance and respect towards the values of the minorities will become driving forces behind advancement.

Be opponents but never foes.

Target problems but not individuals.

You represent power, legislative power. However, your job is not limited to creating laws but also includes the oversight of their due implementation, as well as the creation and use of the mechanisms for checks and balances – it will promote the advancement of our country.

My message is the following: To become successful today, let us focus our attention and work on the future. Let’s work together and for all of us.

Let us ask ourselves constantly: Where our children will live and what opportunities our children will have 10, 20, and why not, 100 years from now?

Let’s work to create a society based on the principle of sustainable and durable development.

Sustainable and durable development is not just a slogan: It’s a vital matter which requires due attention.

It would be reasonable to speak seriously about sustainable and durable development before adopting decisions pertinent to our soil, water, natural resources, national legacy, and values.

In the new Armenia, in the Young Armenia it is critical to boost mutual trust and respect between our generations and our compatriots spread all over the world as well as the efficient cooperation.

When I say young, I mean not only the age but first and foremost a robust mind and spirit, ability to search for and find, to learn and create.

For me, Armenia is the example of a country which can live and win in the 21st century because we echo all tendencies existing in the contemporary world. It means that we are a small country but a globally connected nation.

And we certainly live with a deep comprehension that regardless of where we were born, we have one Fatherland. We have to make that Fatherland flourish through our joint efforts – combined efforts of Armenia, Artsakh, and Spyurk.

Armenia really can become one of the brightest spots on our planet through the implementation of innovative ideas, through our culture, science, economy, etc.

It will not be easy.

But I believe in the boundless talent of our people and our unbending spirit. I am confident that we will overcome all difficulties along the way.

Distinguished Members of the National Assembly,

I wish us all discipline, reasonable thinking, diligence, persistence, and responsibility. I wish efficient and productive work to the National Assembly.

As the President of Armenia, within the scope of my authority, I am ready for cooperation and support, for joint productive work for the benefit of our Fatherland and our nation.

God bless us all.” 

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