NEW YORK—The EastWest Institute held its Annual Gala on Wednesday attended by prominent state, public, and political figures, ambassadors, entrepreneurs and included members of the Armenian-American community.
At the gala ceremony in New York, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian was awarded the prestigious John Edwin Mroz Global Statesman Award named in the honor of a Co-Founder of the Institute, American diplomat John Mroz. The institute is a global network of influential stakeholders committed to and engaged in building trust and preventing conflict around the world.
The organization bestows its annual awards on the individuals who have been singled out for their exceptional leadership, innovative spirit and ability to be game changers. Past awardees include President George Bush, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, former President of Finland, winner of the Noble Peace Prize for year 2008 Martti Ahtisaari.
“The selection of the President of the Republic of Armenia has come to augment his vast experience in the areas of Physics, private sector, and state administration. In the times, when Armenia is going through the period of great changes, Sarkissian was entrusted with ensuring stability and creation of a new vision for his country which, we are confident, he will lead towards a more democratic and prosperous future,” said the institute’s chairman Ross Perot in his welcoming remarks.
The EastWest Institute is committed to the development of innovative and creative solutions to solve current problems and get ready for the future challenges. Individuals like Sarkissian make our efforts possible.”
The President of the Tavitian Foundation, the Armenian-American benefactor Aso Tavitian spoke of Armenia’s role as a bridge between the East and the West. The President of the Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian presented his vision of Armenia’s future.
The President of Armenia expressed his gratitude for the award and noted in his speech that the award is very important to him while the EastWest Institute is not just a think tank among many in the world but a special institution. According to the President, when there is an idea, an important one, the institute participates in its implementation. “You have this great energy of thinking about something, believing in something and going to implement and trying to make that small but very important change.”
“It’s a great honor for me to represent my nation and my country here. I really have a dream or a vision for the future and that dream or a vision which includes also the fact or the reality that we are facing. i.e. where this world is moving to,” President Sarkissian noted.
“If the 20th century was the century of natural resources and based on that the age of other political forces, the 21st century is going to be deferent. The 21st century is the century of research, development, new technologies. The 21st century is the century when things will be done and ruled by new ideas, by new research conducted by those who are quick, by those who are young and energetic regardless of how old they are. That will be the 21st century. The politics will be done differently,” added Sarkissian.
“And I do truly believe that the 21st century is Armenia’s century. That’s why I think we will be victorious. I am happy to be part of the Armenian nation. We are a small state but a global nation. There are not many nations of that sort. But I do believe that small states but global nations that have the global connectivity can get together and build their own country. That’s the future, and I do believe that the institutions like the EastWest Institute are going to be among the leaders of the 21st century,” said Sarkissian.