The President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian’s speech at the first session of the eighth National Assembly
I congratulate you on the first session of the eighth National Assembly.
I congratulate the political forces and all deputies who entered the parliament and wish them success and productive work.
At the same time, I want to thank our citizens for having expressed their
positions, thus taking part in the state, political, and social life.
I also thank the deputies of the previous parliament for their activities in
As a result of the early elections on June 20, the political forces,
represented in the National Assembly, are given the opportunity first to elaborate and then implement future-oriented realistic strategic programs.
The citizens of the Republic of Armenia expect their representatives to find solutions to existing problems and to demonstrate wisdom and willpower to lead Armenia towards development and the future.
That future must be built around the vision of a strong, balanced, and
progressive state. It belongs not to any one interest or party.
The future is all of us, together, united by a common historical memory,
motivated by the debt owed to our children and our ancestors,
who had been fighting for centuries to have their own independent state.
We must deeply realize and appreciate the existence of our internationally recognized statehood.
We must do everything to defend and preserve our statehood, to maintain it as the principal national ideology, as the most significant pan-Armenian value.
The essence of productive governing is, first of all, to be honest and responsible.
Of course, one must be professional, hard-working, disciplined and organized, to have a vision and a program and the will to implement it.
But, I repeat, first of all, you must be honest and responsible.
Attempts of wishful thinking, demagogy, and populism lead to a dead end.
We must speak honestly, openly and directly about the existing problems, assess our real possibilities soberly and cold heartedly, have the courage to admit our disadvantages and mistakes and answer for them.
Everyone of us must feel responsible for the future of our country and our statehood.
And only honest and fair governance may change the situation:
to overcome disappointment, spread optimism, restore and strengthen the connection between the citizen and the state.
It is time to have a state, which will perform its main functions
with all responsibility.
Among them are:
Ensuring border and population security
Protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity
Fair solution to the Artsakh issue
Development of economy, science and culture
Ensuring a decent standard of living
Guaranteed protection of human rights and freedoms
Ensuring civic solidarity
Creating conditions for the realization of human potential…
Our people and our country are worthy of nothing less.
Today, the priority is to find ways-out from the deep and multi-layered
Obviously, in this context, the primary task is to rule out political division.
We cannot allow anybody to divide and differentiate our people
according to any geographical or political standard.
All of us must have one main goal: to preserve and develop our statehood.
Splitting and internal enmity only takes us away from that goal and weakens the foundations of our statehood.
And in that case, all our enemies and adversaries have to do is sit back and watch how we weaken ourselves every day and irreparably damage our state’s collective immune system.
Today, we are at a crucial historical stage.
And we must ask ourselves a simple question.
What is more important? So-called local “wars” for the sake of
illusory interests or love for Motherland, which requires us to sacrifice the personal for the greater benefit of all?
The guarantee of our security is our unity.
The world is changing rapidly.
To build a competitive model of political, economic, social and tecnological success, we must carefully follow and take part in the new tendencies in the world.
It is obvious that the survival and development of small states with limited geopolitical and natural resources mostly depends upon the quality of the state, the governance of the state, and the ability of its citizens to realize their full human potential.
We are not an exception.
It is also obvious that in our case, the development of our human resources that should be national and the basis of the state’s construction.
The resource we have are in Armenia itself and, also beyond the borders of Armenia.
We are used to being proud of the achievements of prominent Armenians around the world.
We talk about them and write books about them.
It is a paradoxical situation that the whole world makes use of the
immense Armenian potential, except Armenia.
The Diaspora is not a wallet for Armenia, it is a crucial element of our state identity.
Our compatriots have the right to participate in and influence the fate of their Motherland.
Armenia and the Diaspora are the two sides of the same coin, and that
fact must not be ignored any longer.
It is time to manifest political will and fix the necessary legal mechanisms.
Mechanisms, which will allow our compatriots to be useful to their Motherland and Artsakh with their skills, abilities, professionalism, knowledge and experience of state building.
At the same time, all our compatriots and we must perceive Armenia as
the only fulcrum, the pivot point.
The quality of a state is, first of all, measured in an effective and well-established system of governance and institutions that balance and complement one another and effective mechanisms of checks and balances.
The crisis of our country proves again that no one man, party, group or institution can objectively resolve the most serious and multi-layered problems.
The principle of separation of powers is about the division of responsibility, not a handover of authority.
A balance of powers does not mean division of authority into equal measures, but collective reponsibility for our achievements and victories, and for our failures and defeats.
The world is watching us…
As bearers of the earliest civilization, we have no right to show a
superficial attitude to the fundamental priciples of state governance.
The principal internal priority is to form a solid state immunity-resistance
I want to repeat: to form a solid state immunity-resistance, which will enable the state to fight against any encroachment or violation.
Our vision should be built within the context of high technologies, using our wealth: the human capital.
Here are its bases:
As a basis for an economic model of development and new generation military-industrial complex, an emphasis on artificial intelligence, information and high technologies and biotecnologies.
Modern agriculture and food security,
A high-quality competitive scientific-educational system,
A qualified health system,
A transition to human-centred social and democratic life that focuses on improving opportunities for every citizen and ensuring a decent life,
And, of course, constitutional changes.
We must understand that a new page in history begins for us, with its challenges and the imperative not to err.
Naturally, to build a strong and stable system, specialized schools are necessary to prepare high-quality professionals for the spheres of strategic significance.
It is important and necessary to build a system, based on social equality.
A system, where the essential conditions will be created for the realization
and promotion of gifted young individuals guided by state and national
I am speaking about the most important notion of statesmanship,
and of preparing statesmen, who are not politisized and serve exclusively
the interests of the state
The main principles are clear as well:
Devotion to the state and to the idea,
Systemic thinking and purposefulness.
Without such a strong immunity, we could become an easy target and decline to the level of a “failed state” with all the consequences stemming from this.
And in the case of a responsible and professional approach, we can reach serious success.
Thus, it is necessary to mobilize all the resources and manifest subtle, but at the same time, decisive behaviour.
The inviolability of Armenia’s borders, the efficient organization of state defense, the solution of the Artsakh and return of the prisoners of war detained in Azerbaijan must be the chief priorities of our external policy.
Our allies and colleagues must see Armenia a mature, predictable, trustworthy and strong country. A country, which has specific and strong relations with Russia, at the same time can have deep and warm relations with the West, with the East, the South and the North…
It will be extremely difficult to us to find our place in the system of
international relations, if we fail to clarify our own goals and movement
trajectory of movement.
In the long-term perspective, we have only one choice: to become a competitive country in the region, using our immense worldwide potential.
The world is on its way of forming a post-unipolar system, where, besides the traditional actors in the face of great powers, it is the dispersed nations and states that will play the essential role.
We have received another historical chance, and we cannot miss it.
We must reject superficial and commit to meaningful activities tgo grasp this opportunity.
Otherwise, at best, we may find ourselves on the margins of history. And in the case of meaningful activity, we shall be what I was talking about: a regionally competitive, strong country.
The Office of the President of the Republic is ready, within its limited constitutional abilities, to contribute and concretely practically to the construction of a meaningful state, a state that will take on its responsibility to lead the nation to the future.
You are given a great honour and privilege.
Remember and appreciate this.
I wish you all fortitude, political wisdom, courage, and all the best!