Armen Sarkissian: Armenia is the example of a country which lives in the 21st century
President Armen Sarkissian participated at the annual session of the “Homeland and Global Security” conference of the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Crans Montana Forum is cooperating with the UN, UNESCO, EU, NATO, EC and other international institutions and aims to encourage international cooperation.
Four events are organized annually in the framework of the Forum which brings together key players from over 100 countries to discuss in an informal setting important social, economic, and security issues.
Discussion topics of the annual session of the Conference, which this year is titled “Homeland and Global Security”, are current issues of international relations and risks, healthcare, cybersecurity and information administration.
At the session, President Armen Sarkissian made a statement in which he spoke in particular about the importance of finding new ways to address new global security risks.
“Today, we are standing at the crossroad of the history of civilizations,” President of Armenia said. “It’s a crossroad where the old paradigms, old ways of looking at human society, or classical ways of handling global risks are not effective enough. I call all this a new era, the era of quantum risks, quantum security and quantum politics.
It doesn’t mean that I like to apply laws of quantum mechanics to human societies. No, it simply shows that the old ways of handling the world, security, global risks probably will not be effective any longer, so we have to look for new, creative solutions.”
According to President Sarkissian, “To understand historically future 50 or 100 years, we need to look 50 or 100 years back to understand where we are heading. Mathematically it means in order to continue with the line of development of history, we need to have a historic line, and then we should continue and make prediction on where we are heading to.
To simplify, let me take four activities of humans: science, technologies, human body, and human society.
It is obvious for everybody for the last two hundred years we have had tremendous achievements in the area of science. And I am speaking from Isaak Newton, Maxwell to the great scientists of the 20th century, like Albert Einstein, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and so on. Their discoveries are related to new technologies, new industrial revolution and changes within human society.
The second is the thing we call industrial revolution. It is very important to understand that whatever we call industrial revolution is in reality not revolutions but evolutions. And that evolutional curve, which at the very beginning was slower, at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century dramatically went up.
At the initial period, 100 years was required to introduce big difference in simple people’s life. Another change started 50 years ago, and next was the fourth industrial revolution which actually was not a revolution. In 25-30 years, we saw that our lives have changed so much that we called it a revolution but in reality it was a recognition of a fast evolution.
The fourth element of our activities is the human being. I would like to bring this example: only some weeks ago, the Nobel Prize was awarded to two scientists – one from the US, the other from Japan for their wonderful discovery on cancer treatment. That discovery is the result of many scientists’ 50 years long research, they found a way on how our immune system should recognize cancer and fight it. It will have a tremendous impact on human lives. In due time, it will have its tremendous impact also on the fourth line, on which I would like to speak briefly – the human society.
If we step back, we will see that science and industrial revolution had tremendous influence. It allowed to move from feudalism to capitalism which at that time was the driving force behind the growth. But at the same time, simultaneously started a process which was dealing with social justice, equality. We call that process socialism. The world started to divide between capitalism and socialism or communism which existed in parallel until recently.
A new phenomenon, which is on the rise today and which is more related to social justice and equality, is civil society. Individual voices of citizens now matter. Because of that the entire world is becoming more and more quantum. Individual voices can have a great influence on politics.
Let’s get back to our new society of the 21st century. Allow me to bring an example from my own country. I am coming from a country where after two weeks after I had assumed the office, a revolution took place. We had a critical mass of people who were against corruption, injustice, etc. People’s patience reached a critical point. For me, that process was similar to a thermonuclear reaction. The idea is that a person or a group or a political party with great energy and purpose created a reaction of changes – revolution.”
In his statement, the President referred also to terrorism and the fight against it: “Terrorism is a global risk, - President Armen Sarkissian noted. “Can we send troops all over the world to stop terrorism? The answer is no. I think we need to change the environment. We need to find new ways to fight terrorism. New ways to fight against epidemics because it’s not a classical epidemic. Today it may start in Hong Kong, the next victim is in Argentine and not in the neighboring Chine because we live in a globalized world.
This is also a new period of globalization because globalization will not stop. Today, it’s moving even faster but along with that we are witnessing the rise of civil society.
We need to find new ways to deal with global security, we ways to handle global risks, and we need to have new ideas to move the country forward to make it stable and predictable because these two factors and risks are interconnected. The better we understand where we are heading, the more manageable all that, the smaller risks will be.”
The President of Armenia noted that the 21st century is a century of global security, stability, new policies, quantum stance of our societies, as well as a new century of risks and security which will begin in 2020:” We are standing at the gates of a new world, and we need to change our mentality, our approaches regarding the system of values,” President Armen Sarkissian said. “For me, Armenia is the example of a country which lives in the 21st century because we reflect current tendencies existing in the world. We are a small country but a global nation. As many Armenians live in Russia as in Armenia. Yerevan – one of most ancient cities of the world, which is 2800 years old, has Armenian population which equals that in Los Angeles. In a number of areas, such as information technologies, banking system, Armenia is among the leaders the world.
Thus, as the President of a small country, I am trying at the same time to be the leader of a global nation,” President Sarkissian concluded.