UNITED NATIONS—António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Monday hailed Armenia’s youth-led popular movement as one of this year’s bright spots in the world while delivering the opening remarks kicking of the 73rd UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Guterres was discussing the number of challenges facing the world, but also spoke of “winds of hope.”
“Despite the chaos and confusion in our world, I see winds of hope blowing around the globe… Armenia’s young people were at the heart of that country’s peaceful political transition earlier this year – showing the potential of youth to use their voice to advance democracy,” said Guterres citing this spring’s Velvet Revolution as one of the “winds of hope” this year.
Earlier this week, during an interview on Facebook Live Secretary General described the peaceful transition of power in Armenia as a “fantastic example.”
On Monday, Guterres met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Pashinyan hailed Armenia’s active involvement in UN-initiated efforts and added that the organization’s future targeted assistance to Armenia will boost and strengthen the country’s development potential.
In discussing the political changes in Armenia, the UN Secretary General stressed that “the process of peaceful transition of power is a fantastic example” and voiced hope that the country would continue on the path of upward development, implementing new reforms in different spheres.
During the meeting reference was made to Karabakh conflict peace process. The Prime Minister thanked the UN secretary General for his full support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
Pashinyan also attended the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, the UN celebration of the South African’s leader’s 100th birthday, where he said that democracy was key to regional peace
“Democracies are not supposed to wage wars against each other,” Pashinyan said in at the event attended by dozens of world leaders. “I hope that one day our region’s democratic development will rule out the risks of hostilities, wars and hatred. Armenia has firmly embarked on this path and strongly stands for regional peace, stability and reconciliation.”
“Having been a political prisoner myself, I closely followed the political path and life story of this most famous political prisoner who would change his own country and indeed the aspirations of millions worldwide,” said Pashiniyan.
“Mandela’s walk, the long walk to freedom was with me during my imprisonment, and to a great extent influenced my conscience and motivated me to embark on my own ‘long walk to freedom’ through prison and persecution, through struggle against injustice across the towns and villages of my country,” he declared.
“In the true spirit of Mandela’s ideas, our movement became known to the world as Armenian non-violent velvet revolution of love and solidarity and now, months after my people’s success, I stand here at the high rostrum of this summit as the head of modern Armenian government to celebrate the legacy of this great person whose courage and determination served as an example for others around the globe,” Pashinyan.