Public Council adjunct to RA Minister of Diaspora holds session

On September 22, the Public Council adjunct to the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia held a session at the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

The first item on the agenda was devoted to the results of implementation of the programs of the RA Ministry of Diaspora in 2016 (“Ari Tun” Program for homeland recognition of Diaspora Armenian youth, “Diaspora” Summer School Program, “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival), and the report was delivered by Chief of Staff of the RA Ministry  of Diaspora Firdus Zakaryan. Touching upon the “Ari Tun” Program, the Chief of Staff state that the “Ari Tun” Program is a future-oriented program and is a unique contribution in the sense of homeland recognition and “Hayadardzutyun” (return to Armenian roots), the results of which will be more clearly seen in ten or twenty years. Zakaryan also attached importance to the “Diaspora” Summer School Program, which provides Diaspora Armenians with the opportunity to take Armenian language and history lessons in Armenia during the summer, and gives song and dance teachers, journalists, leaders and community activists the opportunity to gain more knowledge and skills and take master classes. The speaker also attached importance to the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival, which gathers Diaspora Armenian choirs, dance groups, individual performers, reciters, as well as masters of the Armenian duduk and other national instruments.

RA Acting Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan presented the Report on the State of Armenians in the World, which touches upon pressing issues such as the Armenian Diaspora and the impact of the peculiarities in the region, the challenges for the preservation of the Armenian identity, the problems facing the Turkish-Armenian community, Islamized Armenians and Syrian-Armenians, the current state of Armenian historical and cultural heritage, etc. Importance was attached to the role of Armenian unions, pan-Armenian, religious, professional and local organizations in the Diaspora, as well as the perspectives of the development of Diaspora Armenian media outlets, lobbying organizations and Armenia-Diaspora relations and the contributions of Diaspora Armenians in the Homeland.

The main principles and directions of the state policy were presented, and the future actions were indicated.

In her report, the RA Acting Minister of Diaspora particularly stated the following: “Alongside globalization, it is accepted to say that the world is also “Diasporizing”. Based on the data of the UN Secretary General, in 2015, there were up to 244,000,000 people who migrated to and took shelter in different countries and especially in the West, and this exceeds the number in 2000 by 71 million. With such shifts, the Armenian Diaspora is also undergoing major changes. With its thousands of organizations and Armenian ecclesiastical structures, the Armenian Diaspora is trying to solve the problems with the preservation of the Armenian identity and contribute to the development of effective relations with Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

As President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan stated, “we have two major value, that is, the Armenian people and Armenia. They must be above all our other values. And all of our steps, decisions and conduct must completely derive from these two values.”

The report was followed by questions and suggestions. Summing up the session of the Public Council, Hranush Hakobyan stressed the fact that there is a lot to do and that one of the priority objectives for promotion of preservation of the Armenian identity in the Diaspora is to shape the image of Armenians who are proud and victorious.

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