Book on Minorities Offers Resolutions to Issues

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A book entitled "Nationalities of Armenia" was released in Yerevan last week upon the recommendation of the Armenian Center for Conflicts Solution together with the Union of Nationalities of Armenia.

The book presents the national minorities populating Armenia–the histories of their communities and the problems facing them mostly regarding the preservation of their national languages–traditions and cultures.

The book also provides a forum for representatives of those minorities to propose resolutions to their said problems. A summary of those proposals follows:

–to adopt the law "on national minorities," which would juridically–in accordance with international standards–determine the status of national minorities and guarantee their rights;

–to ensure by the Law on Elections the representation of the national minorities in parliament by securing 2-3 seats for them. The national minorities are not currently represented in parliament;

–to involve the representatives of the national minorities in the work of the state–governmental–judicial structures as well as the local government bodies;

–to set up a presidential consultative body–the Council on National Minorities–and involve the representatives of the national minorities in its work;

–to provide state support to the national minorities in Armenia in developing education and culture in their national languages and preserving their national identities;

–to create favorable conditions for developing the mass media of the national minorities.

It is advisable that time be provided on national television to organize programs about national minorities;

nto provide the Union of Nationalities of Armenia with appropriate accommodation for a cultural center;

nto provide funds in the state budget for developing the educational system and cultures of the national minorities.

The resolution of these problems will make it possible for the national minorities to feel protected by the state and to participate in the process of strengthening democracy in the country. It will also prevent migration–the book says.

The chairman of the Union of Nationalities–Vladimir Chatoyev–said that the program of studying and preventing the migration processes was proposed by the director of the Center for Conflicts Solution of Armenia–Professor Nikolay Hovhanissian–and was approved by the Union of National Minorities.

Within the framework of the program the problems of the national minorities were discussed at roundtables and seminars.

The book was edited by the director of the Center for Conflicts Solution–director of the Institute of Oriental Studies–Nikolay Hovhanissian–the assistant director of the Center for Conflicts Solution–A. Kossian and the chairman of the Union of Nationalities–V. Chatoyev.

The articles were written by the leaders of the Russian–Greek–Jewish–Assyrian–Yezid–Kurd–Polish–Ukrainian and other national organizations of Armenia.

The book was published following a decision of the research council of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences.

Twenty national minorities make up three percent of Armenia’s population.

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