5th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF
THE FORUM OF ARMENIAN ASSOCIATIONS OF EUROPE
JUNE 6-9, 2003
The Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe has selected the center of its 5th annual conference in Venice, “The Mermaid” of Italy, which was built in the 7th century by the Armenian and Byzantine general Nerses Haykazn and troops commander Sahak Pelizaros.
The city, which covers more than 200 islands, has a little Armenia in it; Armenian cultural and educational center Saint Ghazar, the “Holy Cross” Church on San Marco. In a word, the Armenians are too respected and honoured in this cradle of world tourism, art and culture, as it was expressed by the respect and hospitality which was shown by the prefecture and the municipality to about 80 delegates from Europe and Near East.
It should be particularly noted the appreciated activity of Father Harutyun Pztikyan, General Secretary Toros Sagheryan and the tremendous resources they provided for the success of the conference, which unfortunately didn’t get the expected response among the participants, whose real objectives are still unknown…
Anyway, in June 6, 2003 after the informational meeting in “Holy Cross” church near the San Marco Square, the delegates were invited to dinner in the luxurious hall of “Casino di Venezia- Grand Canal” organized by the Union of Armenians in Russia and the Forum. The Prefect of Venice, Deputy Mayor, The Ambassador of Russia in Italy, the Head of the Tojer Palace and many others gave words of praise to the Armenian people .
The official opening of the conference took place on June 7, in the morning, in the glorious hall of Tojer Palace, decorated with the picture “Venetian Avarayr”, the battle scenes of Lipanto against the turks.
Father Harutyun Pztikyan (Mkhitaryan Priesthood), Very Rev. Father Khoren Koghramachyan took the floor and read the message of His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of all Kilikia. Welcome speeches were made by Toros Sagherian, Secretary of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe, Mara Roomy, representative of the Venice Mayor Paolo Costa, Prof. Romanelli, Head of the Tojer Palace, Jivan Movsesyan, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Arthur Aghabekyan, Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Armenia, Ara Abrahamyan, Head of the Union of Armenians in Russia who called everybody to participate to the first World Armenian Conference in Moscow, in coming November.
After the musical performance by the soloist Makta Mkrtichyan who performed Armenian and Italian songs, the group photos perpetuated this important event, and the participants moved into the international University of Venice on San Servilo island.
In the afternoon the first session of the conference by title “The role of the Diaspora for the Armenian national security, safety and strengthening”took place. Memorable speeches were made by Hilta Chopoyan (France), Mihran Tappagh (Germany), Spartak Kostanyan. The representative of the Union of Armenians in Russia also took the floor. The final speech was made by Arthur Aghabekyan, Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Armenia, who read the message of Serge Sargsyan, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Armenia about the creation of “MARTIK” (Combatant) Fund and called everybody to take participation to the program for the assistance to the safety and security of the Armenian National Army and our country. Debates took place, questions were given.
On June 8, the second session of the conference in San Servolo aimed to summarize the previous working year of the Forum, to solve financial and organizational issues. But as it seems, and as one of the “ Armenian incurable diseases”, there are a number of people who attended the conference not by the purpose to move forward gratefully this important national initiative implemented by the hard work during five years, enormous financial investment , but by unknown purposes for us they had the firm intention to disrupt and disunite it.
The result was that the third session did not happen, after the complaint of the General Secretary, the honest delegates of the conference succeeded in maintaining the unity and after the wonderful closing ceremony, bade farewell to each other in St. Ghazar abbey looking forward to meeting again and continuing the patriotic route for the Armenian people, Motherland, Artsakh, the existence and prosperity of the worldspread Diaspora.
6th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF
THE FORUM OF ARMENIAN ASSOCIATIONS OF EUROPE
MAY 28-30, 2004
This year the 6th annual conference of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe took place in Vienna, Austria.
Address-Colonitscass 11, 1030 Vienna
Friday, 28 May, 2004
18.00 – Reception at the hall of the Armenian Community of Vienna organized by the Administration of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Austria.
Saturday, 29 May, 2004
Around 21 representatives of the member countries of the Forum participated to the conference (see the list of the participants).
The official opening of the meeting took place at 10.00.
Welcome speech was made by Primate Mesrop Grigoryan, representative of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, Primate of the Austrian Diocese on behalf of His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of All Kilikia.
Afterwards, welcome speeches were made by Gevorg Antonyants, Chairman of the Apostolic Church Administration of Austria and Toros Sagherian, General Secretary of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe.
Words of greeting were addressed to the participants by Bernard Dencher, the representative of the Mayor of Vienna, Head of the Cultural Department, who highly appreciated the role of the Armenian Community in Austria and mentioned that the small Armenian Community in Vienna, keeping its identity and national characteristic, is a unique community.
Words of greeting were addressed by Jivan Movsesyan, Head of the Department of Relations with Diaspora of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and Varduhi Asatryan, representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Austria.
11.30 – Continuation of the meeting
Toros Sagherian, General Secretary of the Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe suggested the candidacy of Gevorg Antonyants, Chairman of the Armenian Apostolic Church Administration as the Chairman of the Forum. The participants of the meeting gave their unanimous consent to the candidacy.
Minas Avagyan (Germany) was elected as the Secretary of the Forum.
After the election of the governing bodies of the Forum the Agenda issues were discussed. Toros Sakeian, General Secretary of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe presented his report on activities of 2003-2004.
There was no financial report as there were no official financial injections in that period. The participants ananimously gave their consent to the discussions and the report.
The report of Harutyun Pztikyan on “Armenians in Europe” , which was the next issue of the Agenda, was distributed to the participants ( see the attached material). Jivan Movsesyan, Head of the Department of Relations with Diaspora of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia answered to the additional questions concerning this report.
Vazgen Manoukyan, deputy of the National Assembly and head of the National Democratic Party of the Republic of Armenia made a speech on the next issue of the Agenda. In his speech he spoke on the topic of the role of the Diaspora and the strengthening of the Armenian state. He mentioned that the strengthening of the Armenian state has to be a concerning subject to all of us, only in this case we can solve the National problems.
Armen Stepanyan, deputy head of the Democratic Liberal Party of the Republic of Armenia was also present to the meeting.
Issues concerning the 90th anniversary of Genocide commemoration were discussed after the break. Wide exchange of thoughts were made on this topic.
The participants of the conference gave their unanimous consent that the FAAE has to make preparatory and organizational work in the activities concerning the 90th anniversary of Genocide commemoration.
The issues on the recognition of Genocide by the European Parliament and candidacy of Turkey in European Union were discussed in details. It was clear that the time has matured and detailed preparatory work has to be done and only the excellent preparation will enable to succeed. The letter of FAAE which was prepared and ratified by the Conference in Valense (France) on April 18, was adoped as official letter (see the attached letter).
The issue of the Melkonyan institution was also a topic of detailed discussion.
The delegates had different approaches towards the issue. Detailed debates took place on that topic. And as the majority of the present participants did not have detailed information on that topic, it was decided by the majority of votes (3 persons voted against) to postpone the decision on that issue.
The meeting ended at 18.00.
In the evening, under the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe and by the initiative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Administration a concert was organized with the participation of Armenian artists living in Europe which won the admiration of those present.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Gevorg Antonyants, the Chairman of the Conference welcomed the participants and declared the next issue of the Agenda on the discussions of the changes of the Regulations.
As only 21 members from the FAAE 31 members were present and according to the FAAE Regulation it was required to have more than 3/4 participation, it was not possible to discuss the issue.
The next issue of the Agenda on the organizational issues of works and the work program of 2004-2005 , was extensively discussed. It was suggested to develop the inner organizational works, in that number the issue concerning the expansion of the members.
It was also suggested to prepare Pan European solemn commemoration of the 90th anniversary of Genocide and Regular conference of the Information Club.
11.45-12.30 The participants became present to the Sunday Saint Liturgy.
12.30 The continuation of the meeting.
After the resignation of the present Executive Body, elections of new Executive Body were held.
Toros Sagherian unanimously was elected as the Honorary President of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe.
Alex Avanesyan (Hungary), from the Founding Members of the Forum was elected as the General Secretary.
Minas Avagyan (Germany) was elected as the Secretary.
Avetis Giziryan (Switzerland) was elected as the Accountant.
Ashot Grigoryan (Slovakia) was elected as the Director of the office of the European Forum of Armenian Businessmen.
At the end of the conference the delegates expressed their gratitude to the Executive Body and wished success for the implementation of the program.
Gevorg Antonyants, the Chairman of the meeting expressed final words of thanks and declared the 6th annual conference of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe closed.