First Convention of the Future Armenian Held From March 10-12
From March 10-12, the first pan-Armenian citizens’ Convention in Yerevan brought together Armenian representatives from all over the world in one hall. The 200 participants of the Convention were selected through a transparent lottery and representative sampling method from among thousands of pre-registered compatriots from the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora according to gender, age, education, and place of residence. Unfortunately, some of the selected participants did not have the opportunity to participate in-person due to the ongoing crisis in Artsakh.
Three of the 15 defined goals of The FUTURE ARMENIAN initiative were discussed during the Convention: “Historic Responsibility,” “Armenia-Diaspora Unity,” and “Growing Population.” More than 100 representatives from the Armenian expert community from various countries spent five months developing the scenarios and programs presented for discussion.
Numerous guests and representatives from partner organizations attended the opening ceremony of the Convention. Noubar Afeyan, co-Founder of the FUTURE ARMENIAN initiative, delivered the opening speech, while fellow co-Founder Ruben Vardanyan addressed the audience via video. Next, His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan presented the Patriarchal message of His Holiness Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians.
Discussions on the first day were dedicated to the goal of “Historic Responsibility.” The head of the Expert Committee was Pontifical Legate of Western Europe and Representative of the Armenian Church to the Holy See Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.
The second day‘s discussions were devoted to the goal of “Armenia-Diaspora Unity.” The head of the Expert Committee was public speaker and Editor-in-Chief of “Aravot” newspaper Aram Abrahamyan.
Discussions on the third day were dedicated to the goal of “Growing Population.” The head of the expert committee was Armine Hovannisian, founder of the “Orran” charitable non-governmental organization and executive director of the “Junior Achievement of Armenia” organization.
On the second day, the participants visited the Yerablur Military Pantheon to pay their respects to and honor the memory of the Armenians martyred for the motherland.
The Convention ended with the official closing ceremony, during which speeches were delivered by High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zareh Sinanyan and co-Founders of the FUTURE ARMENIAN initiative Artur Alaverdyan and Richard Azarnia. The ceremony was concluded by Artak Apitonian, executive director of the FUTURE ARMENIAN Development Foundation, who emphasized the importance of each compatriot’s active participation in future activities of the initiative.
Each day of the Convention closed with votes on priorities for policy proposals and initiatives. They were conducted by the Voting Committee, which was selected by the participants on the principle of self-nomination. You can check out the results of the voting at the following links:
Particularly noteworthy were the results of the votes regarding pan-Armenian responsibility toward Artsakh (Day 1), the main agenda for Armenia-Diaspora cooperation (Day 2), the policy for organizing immigration (Day 3), as well as prioritizing the various initiatives.
Throughout the three days of discussions, the Convention participants came up with over 2,000 recorded observations and concerns, proposed dozens of public initiatives and programs, and voted on priorities for their implementation.
Thus, The FUTURE ARMENIAN established a platform through which representatives of various groups of Armenians around the world studied, discussed, and selected scenarios and programs which passed expert evaluation, thereby defining their vision for the future through a united force.