“There is nothing impossible.” Archbishop Khajag Barsamian
On May 19, in the Large Auditorium of the American University of Armenia, The FUTURE ARMENIAN Initiative presented the final report of the first Convention. Noubar Afeyan and Artur Alaverdyan, c0-Founders of the initiative, participated in the event. Due to the criminal blockade of Artsakh, co-Founder of the initiative, Ruben Vardanyan, participated in an online format from Artsakh. From Paris, co-Founder of the initiative Richard Azarnia, from Rome, the Pontifical Delegate of Western Europe, the head of the Expert Committee on Historic Responsibility Khajag Archbishop Barsamian also participated in an online format.
Richard Wilson, the co-author of the final report of the Convention, the president of the British OSCA and ISWE companies, who consulted on the organization of the Convention, spoke about the details of the report and the results of the Convention.
After the presentation of the results, there was a discussion with the audience and Q&A session with the participation of the founders.
“Protection of the security and independence of Artsakh is not only the issue of the people of Artsakh.” Ruben Vardanyan
Ruben Vardanyan, co-Founder of the initiative, announced that the issues related to Artsakh will have a great impact not only on Armenia, but also on the entire Armenian world. He expressed confidence that we should go through that road together, because protection of the security and independence of Artsakh is not only the issue of the people of Artsakh.
“People with opposing opinions can come to a joint decision on difficult issues.” Artur Alaverdyan
According to Artur Alaverdyan, co-Founder of the initiative, the Convention model, as a new format for making decisions together, is one of the newly emerging models in response to the most complex challenges in the world. The Convention showed that this innovative approach works for us and people with opposite opinions can come to a joint decision on difficult issues.
Khajag Archbishop Barsamian, who joined the event from Rome, answering the question about the dissension of Armenians, said that the main driving force of pan-Armenian dialogue can be the love of all of us for the homeland, and that the FUTURE ARMENIAN initiative tried to create that warm and loving environment which will contribute to that.
“Unification is the imperative of this moment.” Richard Azarnia
Richard Azarnia, co-Founder of the initiative, who joined online from Paris, stated that the important thing at the moment is the unity. We must follow the ideas adopted by the Convention together, because they are our collective ideas.
“If we cannot imagine the future that belongs to all of us, we will return to the past.” Noubar Afeyan
Noubar Afeyan, co-Founder of The FUTURE ARMENIAN initiative, stated in his speech that if we cannot discuss and imagine a future that can belong to all of us and for which it is worth making the investments and sacrifices necessary to achieve it, we will remain in the present. More precisely, we will return to the past. And our past, except for a few bright moments, according to Noubar Afeyan, is not one that anyone would like to return to.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CONVENTION
- First experience of pan-Armenian civic dialogue on the national agenda
- First attempt of the Armenians from various countries to plan the nation’s future together
- First citizens’ assembly in any post-Soviet nation
- First citizens’ assembly with diaspora engagement in the world
- Unprecedented expert committee discussions in the Armenian world, involving more than 100 experts for 5 months
- The most engaged diaspora organizations were part of the expert discussions and observed the public debate
- An attempt to break the polarization of society and the political impasse, and to re-engage citizens through inclusiveness
- The most powerful vote: Artsakh is an issue of all Armenians – 92.7%
- Proposal to establish a business collaborative network for Armenia and Diaspora
- Proposal to create a unified list of Armenian heritage
- Proposal to establish the agency for organized immigration and its advocacy