12, 2009

Statement of President Serzh Sargsyan at the Orinats Erkir Party Convention

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

I salute the delegates and guests of the Ninth Convention of the Orinats Erkir Party.

Orinats Erkir is a political force which has its recognized place and role in Armenia, which has proven its popularity during all recent state elections. Along with its coalition partners it constitutes a part of the national government and has assumed responsibility for the future of our people and our country.

As the President of the Republic of Armenia and as the Chairman of the Republican Party, I acknowledge with satisfaction close and efficient cooperation which has been formed with Orinats Erkir. Mr. Baghdassarian’s activities in his capacity as the Secretary of the National Security Council as well as activities of the Party’s representatives in the Government and the National Assembly prove that Orinats Erkir is a reliable partner. Together we have some serious work to do since that partnership is based upon a mutually acceptable ideas and principles which are intended to move our country forward on all directions.

Among our objectives we attach particular importance to the task of establishing a contemporary society in which democracy and rule of law are accepted norms of social and personal life, both written and unwritten norms which often act as traditions, customs, or an accepted behavior. It is no secret, that it will require continuous and diligent work and supposes not only state and legal changes but also changes in societal mentality. It took the states and societies, which are considered exemplary today, decades of complex and controversial events. But we all realize that with the current global competition we simply don’t have that much time and whatever others accomplished in decades we must accomplish in a much shorter period of time. To be Orinats Erkir, which means to become a land of law, today entails also swift actions.

It is true that we still have much to do, we have to get on the path which leads toward the firm establishment of the rule of law, genuine separation and balance of power, human dignity, liberty, respect and guarantee of egality. And we cannot achieve it without establishing in our country the atmosphere of true tolerance, solidarity, pluralism; without instituting a justice system which inspires absolute confidence. We have spoken about this on many occasions. Are there any changes? Certainly, there are, but I believe we are not moving fast enough.

Lies, mutual discrediting, interpreting the world through the prism of one’s ego, intolerance and malevolence have been abundant in our society. Unfortunately, they continue to manifest themselves even today and work against us. One hundred years ago, the greatest Armenian poet spoke publicly against these vicious traits, claiming that “Now, we don’t want to speculate where that cruelty of soul, that malevolence had come from, but rather wish that these traits of ours finally change, that this destructive attitude ceases to exist, that loathsome, barbaric custom disappears from our press, giving way to fair, civilized criticism, open and bright look, honest and benevolent attitude toward our people and our institutions and rather than killing, destroying, and intimidating would work toward encouraging and reviving.”

H. Toumanian’s words spoken one hundred years ago are still valid today. We are talking about change, about creating a strong and fair society and establishing institutions to support it and very often do not see that even the best ideas are being corrupted halfway and distorted by very concrete individuals, sometimes just for the sake of stopping someone from succeeding. It was that way, and it is now. Should it be that way in the future as well? We say, no.

Certainly, I have no illusions that those firmly rooted practices could be driven out with just one blow. I am also certain that humanism is not enrooted by boorish force. It is enrooted by bringing up children as decent people, by encouraging bright students and initiators, hailing honest men and publicly rejecting indecency. It is enrooted by a proper attitude.

Not every task or challenge can be resolved through the law and decisions. It is necessary to talk as well as to listen, it is necessary to explain painstakingly what we are doing and most importantly why we are doing it. Environment and atmosphere, comprehensions and rules of conduct must change. And everyone has something to chip in here, everyone who agrees that it can be that way any longer.

Dear Colleagues,

It is quite obvious that the coalition political force, which has assumed the state governance, has the utmost role in rejecting negative tendencies that are present today in our life. I believe you have no doubt that despite numerous external challenges, despite the global economic and financial crisis, all the programs that we have initiated will be implemented. Together we have assumed responsibility for the present and the future of our country, and first of all it relates to the country’s empowerment, democratization, and security. And we will succeed. However we have also assumed responsibility for the customs and atmosphere our children and grandchildren will be living in. Hence, we also have long-term tasks which we will fulfill through working hard, showing example, and forming strong public demand.

In conclusion, I wish the participants of the Convention productive work, and I wish Orinats Erkir Party every success in its undertakings. I am confident that that success will belong not only to the Party, but also to our country, and to our entire nation.

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