YEREVAN (ARF Press Office)–The second annual Balkan round-table summer seminar on "Peace and Integration" convened in Primosko Bulgaria on August 28. Organized by the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)–the seminar will take up issues on globalization of human rights–sexual dicrimination–etc. After each topic is presented–participants will conduct a round-table discussion to include the status of such issues–ie. sexual discrimination and human rights–in their respective countries.
ARF Youth office director Unger Sarkis Mkrtchian and Ungerouhi Eva Hagopian represent Armenia this year.
The Seminar opened with five lectures on two topics: "Human Rights and Civil Society," and "The Role of the Church in Balkan Countries." Round-table discussions followed–with participants expressing contradictory and sometimes extreme opinions on the role of the Church in society. Some argued for the importance of the Church stating it provides meaning to life and guides people towards goodness. Others–however–argued that the church has swayed from its mission–and has become a money-hoarding establishment that neglects people’s needs. Others believed that the Church has no place in politices.
Interestingly–the participant from Turkey revealed that Christians are fortunate because Islam poses the greatest obstacle for the realization of socialism.
Outside of the formal program–the ARF youth met with director of the host organization the Social-Democratic Party Youth of Bulgaria. They discussed various undertakings of the Armenian and Bulgarian youth organizations and other topics of mutual concern. The ARF youth held a similar meeting with representatives of the Social-Democratic Party of Slovenia.
On August 30 and 31–the first meeting of the Black Sea Cooperation Pact–"United for Just Peace," will convene. The same ARF youth will participate.