GENEVA–As reported in the Saturday–June 14 edition of Asbarez–the fifth annual forum of Armenian Associations of Europe (FAAE) that convened in Venice on June 6–halted its work due to the unauthorized actions of the Forum’s coordinating commission that directly countered FAAE’s by-laws. In a June 10 release–the FAAE’s political Board provides an account of events and its future plans:
On June 6 registration for the fifth FAAE forum was conducted at the Holy Cross Church located near San Marco Square in Venice. Subsequently on June 7–opening ceremonies were conducted at the Palace of Doges. The ceremony was attended by the mayor of Venice Paolo Costa–president of the Union of Armenia’s in Russia Ara Abrahamian–official representatives from Armenia–representative of his Holiness Aram I–representative of the Mekhitarist congregation father Haroutyoun Peztikyan–general secretary of the Forum Toros Sagherian–members of the FAAE political board–invited representatives–guests–and journalists.
The first topic of the session–"The Role of The Diaspora in Protecting and Strengthening The General Security of The Armenian Nation," as well as reports by relevant representatives of the Republic of Armenia–stirred in-depth–constructive discussion. A number of proposals were made concerning future projects–emphasizing establishing effective and extended relations between Armenia and Diaspora.
Participants stressed the need to create legal conditions to spark Diaspora involvement in the economic development of Armenia and Artsakh.
The meeting condemned pressures exerted on Armenia’s–particularly the denial of genocide–and called on all Armenia’s and Armenian organizations to fight together–and to adopt a united strategy to gain international recognition of the genocide.
During the same session–the vice president of the Union of Armenia’s in Russia Spartak Kostanian–presented objectives and future plans of the Union of Armenia’s in Russia–and hoped for the creation of a new stage of cooperation between the Forum and the Union of Armenia’s in Russia.
The June 8 session was dedicated completely to discussing the Forum’s activities in the past year–reviewing proposed amendmen’s–the structure and governing body of FAAE–and elections.
After reports presented by Sagheryan and the political board–discussions centered around FAAE’s charter–proposed structural amendmen’s–as well as the democratization of the Forum’s management and crisis prevention.
Member organizations and representatives of communities unanimously agreed on the importance of proposed charter and structural amendmen’s–keeping in mind that the most democratic and acceptable way to involve all communities in the Forum’s activities–is not to emphasize individual and independent management–but to maintain the values and the democratic spirit of Europe.
Subsequently–the general secretary Toros Sagherian–in disagreeing with the amendmen’s and the democratization of the governing system to be implemented during the next annual meeting–presented his resignation and left the session.
After a break–the session continued without Sagherian.
The Forum re-elected the political board consisting of five members to undertake the obligations of the executive body; their re-election was ratified by the body. Concerning the position of general secretary–the Forum placed the political board in charge of settling the issue within a month–by offering Sagherian an opportunity to reconsider his resignation.
According to the decisions of the Forum–the following projects are to be realized in the coming year:
To form a relevant panel to administer amendmen’s; organize the first forum of young Armenia’s of Europe; organize the 2nd forum of lawyers; organize the 4th business Forum; celebrate Artsakh Day; undertake publications; support the photo exhibition and the international conference on Armenian Genocide organized in Brussels by the Union of Armenian Associations in Sweden on June 18-19; carry out the projects of the Media Forum.
The general meeting unanimously voted to hold the 6th annual meeting of FAAE in Greece.
The Forum was closed with a prayer by Father Peztikyan and with the singing of the Armenian national anthem.