09, 2011

President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement at the Panarmenian Conference of the Leaders and Representatives of Diaspora Organizations

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President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh,
Your Holiness, Catholicos of All Armenians,
Your Holiness, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,
Eminent Fathers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I cordially welcome you in the Motherland, where you will participate at the Panarmenian Conference of the Leaders and Representatives of Diaspora organizations. I also heartily congratulate you all on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia’s independence. The Conference is attended by 550 representatives from 46 states who represent 151 Armenian organizations of Diaspora, including all its pivotal structures. I announce the opening of the Panarmenian Conference of the Leaders and Representatives of Diaspora organizations.

Dear Compatriots,

I am confident that the Conference will greatly promote the development of the Armenia-Spyurk cooperation for the benefit of the Armenian nation’s peaceful and prosperous future.

This assembly hall represents a collective force. It signifies power of ten million Armenians and inspires us with pride. That force has been solving numerous problems through the decades and will continue to do so.

The Armenian nation is bonded together with its national aspirations and Armenia’s destiny. All our thoughts, emotions sometimes even anger and outbursts, heated disputes and serene discussions, silent work and manifestations of protest – all they eventually have one purpose – to make sure that the Armenia of tomorrow is a better country, more powerful, more beautiful, more attractive, to see the Armenian nation more united, more cohesive and well-organized. We are united not only by our roots but also by our common goals.

Diaspora is not a new phenomenon in our centuries-long history, however after the Mets Eghern it acquired quite a different nature. The Armenians had to withstand the test outside their cradle, on the “alien and desolate roads”, had to withstand the test of assimilation and degradation and had to prove their viability in most different circumstances. The almost hundred-years long history of the Armenian Spyurk is a history of struggle and victory, unavoidable setbacks and exceptional willpower. Armenian communities from Uruguay to Australia, from America to the Middle East have been covered with the network of Armenian schools, churches, media outlets, as well as political, public, cultural and sport organizations – this was done to save the generation. Each family has become an epitome of the historical homeland. The Armenian nation has shown to the world an exceptional example of survival, even though many reputable figures were considering the Western Armenians out of the historical picture. Moreover, Diaspora has been able to manifest extraordinary political achievements. With the horrendous images of the Genocide still in their minds, Spyurk has been begetting new generations dedicated to the ideas and aspirations of independence.

Dear Compatriots,

Yet, Spyurk is also our pain and our concern because on the foreign shores we daily encounter problems and challenges. There is an imperative to keep the new generation Armenian-speaking, sticking to its roots, close to the Motherland, just keeping them Armenian which is countered by the ocean of circumstances, conditions, and temptations. We should admit that that ocean has brought also some losses, which unfortunately and unavoidably will happen again. The minimize these losses is the most important task for the entire nation. I believe that the best means and the most efficient immunization against the evil of assimilation is empowerment of Armenia and earning of a great international repute. The level of Armenia’s recognition in the world may bring back to the Armenian nation even those who have moved away, if he or she will have an opportunity to be proud of the homeland, of the achievements of the compatriots and, finally, of the Armenian identity.

I think, it wouldn’t be redundant to repeat that Spyurk and Armenia should become each other’s extension. Spyurk – politically and culturally, scientifically and in terms of health care and sports should be nurtured by the Motherland and in its own turn should nurture Armenia. It doesn’t mean that it will become a faceless adjunct of Yerevan; it means mutual complementarity.

In the existing conditions of globalization, the danger of assimilation is multipling and the identity is jeopardized. And it is possible to prevent imminent threats only through a closer cooperation and regular contacts with the reborn Armenian state – the Republic of Armenia. Armenia is the nucleus of the preservation of the Armenian identity and its shield.

The Diaspora structures, centers, periodicals, benefactors, intellectuals and individuals who have been creating Armenian schools, cultural centers, centers for Armenian studies and those who bestow on the Armenian children, boys and girls our euphonical mother tongue, who preserve and promote Armenian culture deserve deep gratitude and profound recognition.

The mother tongue is a potent earnest of the Armenian identity.

For many centuries, the language actually substituted the homeland. Preservation of the Armenian identity abroad emanates from the vital interests of the Republic of Armenia. It’s not a solely Diaspora problem; and we do realize that. The Armenian language and national identity are indispensable prerequisites of our nation’s eternity. Let’s try to agree, all of us, the entire nation that in the Armenian families we speak Armenian only. The Armenian teenager must keep the Armenian language sacred, must be vigilant, conscientious and realize that along with speaking many languages, one should not forgo one’s native language, especially now, when high technologies make distant learning possible.

In Spyurk, the issue of the Armenian language preservation and dissemination is high on the agenda because a large part of Diaspora does not speak Armenian or speaks insufficiently, while in some communities the usage of the language is limited to the oral Armenian only. Our language is our main weapon in the mission of the preservation of the Armenian identity, a pillar of our existence and an important promise of our national unity. Thus, I appeal to you and expect that issues of teaching, transmission and preservation of the language will become an objective of our future consolidated activities. The Armenian state will play a pivotal role in the process, and we will continue our efforts aimed at making Armenia the center of the native language teaching through its universities, schools and express language courses.

I would like to specially touch upon the issue of the Western Armenian. We, the Armenian authorities will do our best to support the Western Armenian literary language, which along with the Ancient Armenian - Grapar, Middle Armenian and literary Eastern Armenian constitutes a part of our greatest treasure. We have to note without false modesty that the literary heritage created in the Western Armenian is of universal significance but at the same time it needs serious protection. We are ready to listen to the proposals of the experts and not only on this but also on other issues.

Distinguished Participants,

I wish the Conference productive works and concrete results. I am confident that Armenia-Artsakh-Spyurk triumvirate can move mountains. Moreover, some mountains have already been moved. It is not accidental, that a mountain, the biblical Ararat is the symbol of our unity.

Our formula is precise: the utmost of the Motherland’s capacities for Spyurk, and the utmost of Spyurk capacities for the Motherland.

I once again congratulate us all on Armenia’s 20th anniversary of independence!

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