YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The "1999: Armenia’s at the turn of century" conference organized by the Armenian community in Belgium and a group of members of the European Parliament and attended by 400 representatives of the Armenian communities in 25 European countries–as well as officials of the Armenian government. The conference was held from April 25 to 30 at the European Parliament in Brussels–Belgium.
Speaking at the conference were Minister of Culture–Youth Affairs and Sport–member of the Governmental Committee for Organizing the Armenia-Diaspora Congress–Roland Sharoyan–Karabakh Foreign Minister Naira Melkoumian–Executive of the Armenian Unions in European Countries Toros Saderian–Chairman of the Committee of Armenia’s of Belgium Nuran Gaida and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Tom Spencer.
Chairman of the Congress of the Armenian Community in Belgium Ambik Ipekchian made opening remarks–while the representative of the National Research Center–lawyer Clare Mouradian presented a report on "The Image of European Diaspora" focusing on the history of the Armenian communities in the Europe and their role and responsibilities.
In his report on "Armenian destiny–nation–culture–Diaspora and state" Minister Sharoyan addressed the state of the Armenia’s in the new historical conditions as well as the issues of the Armenia-Diaspora relations in conditions of independent statehood. He stressed the need for jointly solving problems facing Armenia–Nagorno Karabakh and Diaspora and preserving and enriching the Armenian cultural heritage.
In his report on "The International Minority in Europe" the member of the Legal Issues Citizens’ Rights Committee of the European Parliament–Malu Lindholm (Sweden) highly appreciated the Armenia’s’ role in political–economic–cultural and literary development of the European countries. He expressed optimism that Armenia will soon become a full member of the Council of Europe.
During discussions–the participants repeatedly stressed the need for condemning the Genocide and pointed out the responsibility of the European community to the Armenia’s in this matter. In their speeches the members of the European Parliament pointed out that Turkish argumen’s against the Genocide–were not enough to refute that the Armenian genocide was planned and committed by the [Turkish] authorities on national grounds.
Also Attending the conference were Armenian Ambassador to the European Parliament and NATO Vigen Tchitechian–Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE Jivan Tabibian and Armenian Ambassador to Germany Ashot Voskanian.