Oskanian Says Armenia Diaspora Conference to Give New Impetus to Ties

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The international conference to be held in Yerevan on September 22-23 will mark the beginning of the process of consolidations of the Armenian nation–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said in a television appearance.

The "One Nation-One State" motto will become the ideological basis of the conference while the objective will be to give a new quality to Armenia-Diaspora relations–he continued.

Oskanian made public the conference agenda drawn up jointly with Diasporan communities. It includes the following six major topics:

1. Problems connected with Armenia’s economic development.

2. Organization of systematized work to solve major political problems of Armenia.

3 Strengthening of cultural and scientific ties between Armenia–Artsakh and the Diaspora–with special attention turned to the upbringing of Diasporan youths in the spirit of affection towards their native land.

4. Problems concerning the sphere of information. The minister stressed that there is a need to create a common information field for Armenia–the Diaspora and Karabakh."

5. Problems of charity. According to the minister–currently there are numerous organizations among the Diaspora involved in charity activities but they lack a clear coordinated program and often use their personal connections. The development of a common program to make the best use of sums donated for charity purposes is an imperative of the time.

6. The establishment of an all-Armenian structure. Oskanian stressed that this is not the task for one conference–the creation of such a structure may require 5-10 years.

The minister said that Armenian officials had held numerous meetings with public and political figures of almost all Armenian communities abroad for the past 4-5 months in preparation for the conference and the issue of duel citizenship was raised by our foreign compatriots on every occasion. "I am convinced that it was a blunder to ban duel citizenship constitutionally–and we must rectify the mistake," he declared.

There are several guidelines in election delegates to the conference. Armenia and Artsakh will be represented as separate state structures. Diasporan parties and organizations that have their structures almost in all communities will dispatch seven-member delegations. These are the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the Ramkavar-Azatakan Party–the Social Democratic Hnchak Party–the Armenian General Benevolent Union–the Union of Armenian Relief–the All-Armenian Fund "Hayastan". The Armenian Church will be represented by delegates from the Mother See of St. Echmiadzin–the Holy See of Cilicia–the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Delegations will represent all countries where there are Armenian communities–which is about 45-50 countries. Organizations operating in these communities will send to Yerevan one delegate each–as well as individuals enjoying high prestige.

Minister Oskanian said that Armenian will be the official language of the conference. Speeches will be translated into 4 languages–including English–Russian–French and Spanish.

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