Hachikian: A 2015 Pivot Toward Truth, Justice And Security

ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian


ANCA Chairman’s Armenia-Diaspora Conference Speech Calls for Strengthening the Global Armenian Advocacy Movement’s “360 Degree Defense” of the Armenian Nation

“The Armenian history that matters most remains unwritten, by generations yet unborn… The best tribute we can pay to our forbearers is to honor their sacrifice with our service, by matching their devotion with our own.” Ken Hachikian

WASHINGTON—Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian is carrying a hopeful message of empowerment to this week’s Armenia-Diaspora Conference in Yerevan, featuring a spirited call for continually upgrading the Diaspora’s global advocacy infrastructure and operations to meet the demands of a new generation of political warfare being waged upon a dynamic and rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

In his remarks, to be delivered during the conference’s opening session on Friday, September 19th, Hachikian will share with his fellow leaders that “the international Hai Tahd movement, led by Armenian National Committees in key capitals and countries around the world, represents “a 360 degree defense of the Armenian nation… a vital element of the Armenian nation’s survival strategy.”

He will stress that “the Armenian history that matters most remains unwritten, by generations yet unborn.” Commenting on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, he noted that: “We stand today at a great turning point. At a pivot from our past. The dawn of a new Armenian century. It is the burden, and also the blessing, of our generation to make this century – the second since our near annihilation – one of truth, justice, and security for the Armenian nation.”

Hachikian’s remarks will place a special emphasis on Armenian solidarity, “for, in solidarity – standing together, forging consensus, building trust, and working collectively – all is possible. We are truly greater than the sum of our parts. Without solidarity, standing alone, our Homeland and Diaspora are vulnerable to the politics of divide and conquer. These tactics are as old as the now-crumbled empires that sought to destroy us, and as new as the farce of the Protocols still being forced upon our nation. We have seen them all too often through the trials of our long history. But, today, we know better. We will not let others force us into false choices. We must stand united in the face of relentless efforts to drive us apart.”

Hachikian also underscores that: “the success of our pro-Armenian international advocacy is closely connected to the progress being made by and for Armenia’s citizens. An Armenia that is stronger at home – economically, militarily, politically, and culturally – is better able to advance her interests internationally. And an Armenia that is more secure and better connected – both regionally and internationally – will provide new opportunities for domestic progress. Let us all be clear: The fight for democracy and against corruption is a national security priority for the Armenian nation. Those who fight to protect Armenia are working to improve Armenia, just as those who strive to improve Armenia are working to protect Armenia.”

The full text of Hachikian’s remarks is provided below.

Seven months from now, here in Yerevan and throughout the world, we will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

It is proper that we pause to reflect upon this painful past. It is fitting for the sons and daughters of our nation to honor our martyrs – to pray for their souls.

But today our eyes are upon the horizon.

For the best tribute we can pay to our forbearers is to honor their sacrifice with our service, by matching their devotion with our own.

That has always been the Armenian way. From days of distant memory to our own time.

From Urartu to Avarayr. Sardarabad to Artsakh.

We have always known – and surely understand today – the price of our survival:

— Service: Tireless and unheralded
— Sacrifice: Selfless and unending
— Solidarity: Boundless and unbending

We all know the simple truth, written upon our hearts: The Armenian history that matters most remains unwritten, by generations yet unborn.

And so, we stand today at a great turning point.

At a pivot from our past. The dawn of a new Armenian century.

It is the burden, and also the blessing, of our generation to make this century – the second since our near annihilation – one of truth, justice, and security for the Armenian nation.

Truth, not simply for the sake of truth, but truth in the service of justice.

Justice, not only for those who have died, but, first and foremost, justice for the living. Justice that ensures our security.

Our survival. Our future. This is our North Star.

All the claims we stake. All the investments we make. All the actions we take. They are all aligned with this single aim:

The survival and long-term viability of the Armenian nation.

The international Hai Tahd movement, led by Armenian National Committees in key capitals and countries around the world, is a 360 degree defense of the Armenian nation.

We are, very simply, a vital element of the Armenian nation’s survival strategy.

It is in humble appreciation of this sacred obligation that we serve as ambassadors of the Armenian people.

It is in this spirit that we fight – as a second army of the Armenian nation. That we stand guard on the frontiers of Armenian freedom, and fight hard, in capitals across the globe, for our homeland and heritage.

We advance core Armenian interests: The consensus issues that matter to all of us; that make a difference for the future of the Armenian homeland:

Justice for the Genocide:

— Securing international recognition
— National reparations, the return of Christian churches, and the restoration of our Western Armenian Homeland
— Rejecting Turkey’s tokenism, and demanding, as we must, the full measure of truth, of justice, and security owed the Armenian nation.

A strong and sustainable Armenia:

— Supporting reformers
— Reversing failed policies
— Fighting corruption
— Fostering democracy
— Growing the U.S.-Armenia relationship, and
— Expanding trade to create jobs, hope, and opportunity.

Security for the independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic:

— Standing up to Azerbaijani aggression
— Countering anti-Artsakh attacks, and
— Building international support for Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination.

Safety for our Middle East Armenian communities:

— Working in support of a peaceful resolution of conflict, and
— Securing international aid to sustain our at-risk communities in Syria, Iraq and throughout the region

A viable and culturally vibrant Javakhk:

— Advocacy and assistance programs to promote economic development, and cultural identity, and
— Local self-government for the Javakhk region of Georgia.

In each of these vital areas, the success of our pro-Armenian international advocacy is closely connected to the progress being made by and for Armenia’s citizens.

An Armenia that is stronger at home – economically, militarily, politically, and culturally – is better able to advance her interests internationally.

And an Armenia that is more secure and better connected – both regionally and internationally – will provide new opportunities for domestic progress.

Let us all be clear: The fight for democracy and against corruption is a national security priority for the Armenian nation.

Those who fight to protect Armenia are working to improve Armenia, just as those who strive to improve Armenia are working to protect Armenia.

Faced with intense and powerful opposition, we need this spirit of solidarity.

For, in solidarity – standing together, forging consensus, building trust, and working collectively – all is possible.

We are – truly – greater than the sum of our parts.

Without solidarity – standing alone – our Homeland and Diaspora are vulnerable to the politics of divide and conquer.

These tactics are as old as the now-crumbled empires that sought to destroy us, and as new as the farce of the Protocols still being forced upon our nation. We have seen them all too often through the trials of our long history.

But, today, we know better. We will not let others force us into false choices. We must stand united in the face of relentless efforts to drive us apart.

Just as crucially, we need to adapt. While keeping faith with our timeless values, we are, today, reinventing ourselves and our cause for a new era.

We are keeping ahead of the curve, upgrading our advocacy infrastructure to meet the demands of a new generation of political warfare being waged upon a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

In the coming months, you’ll see:

— A new ANCA focus on law and justice that brings together our community’s best legal talents and resources to defend our rights and advance our cause.

— A new ANCA Capital Gateway House that will serve as a home in the heart of Washington, DC for the next generation of Armenian American leaders.

— A new wave of ANCA information technology that leverages cutting edge social media, data, and video communications.

We are building upon a legacy of more than a century of service. We can and should be proud of how far we have come.

We have generated the political power that our homeland needs, and earned the respect that we all deserve. But we will not rest.

We will strive and struggle.

Fearlessly and faithfully carrying forward the work of our generation, in service to our sacred homeland and heritage.

Thank you.

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