YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—A conference of leaders and representatives from Diaspora organizations kicked off Monday at the Karen Demirchyn Sports and Concert Complex, presided over by President Serzh Sarkisian and organized by the Diaspora Ministry.
Around 550 representatives of 151 Diaspora organizations from 46 countries are participating in the forum.
“I’m confident that the forum will greatly contribute to the development of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation in the name of a peaceful and prospering future of the Armenian nation,” said Sarkisian during his opening remarks.
“This audience represents a joint force, a force, which has resolved a number of issues throughout the decades and will continue to do so,” he added.
Speaking about the common aspirations of the homeland and the Diaspora, the President said, “All our thoughts and concerns, our anger and frustration, the hot disputes and peaceful discussions, the silent work and protests have one objective, and that is to see a better, a stronger, a more beautiful, a more prosperous Armenia. It is to see Armenians more united and organized. We are united not only by our roots, but also by our common objectives.”
“Let’s try to agree to speak only Armenian in Armenian families. The Armenian youth should hold the Armenian language as sacred and should realize that they must never forget the mother tongue, no matter how many foreign languages they speak,” added Sarkisian.
“The Diaspora and the homeland should become the continuation of each other,” he said, adding that the Diaspora should make the utmost use of the homeland’s opportunities and vise versa.
On this occasion, the president handed out awards during a reception for the conference participants.
Archbishop Suren Kataroyan (Lebanon) and Varuzhan Voskanyan (Romania) were awarded Movses Khorenatsi medals for their contribution to the preservation of the Armenian national identity and the reinforcement of friendship between Armenia and foreign countries.
Albert Boyajyan and Vahe Karapetyan of the US received Medals of honor for their contribution to the protection of national interests, for their service to the Reublic of Armenia and for their long patriotic and productive activity.