Redistribution of Groong articles, such as this one, to any other
media, including but not limited to other mailing lists and Usenet
bulletin boards, is strictly prohibited without prior written
consent from Groong's Administrator.
Š Copyright 2002 Armenian News Network/Groong. All Rights Reserved.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Contact: Information Desk Tel: (374-1) 52-35-31 Email: info@armeniaForeignMinistry.com Web: http://www.ArmeniaForeignMinistry.am ARMENIA DIASPORA CONFERENCE BEGINS Nearly three thousand Armenians from Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh and the Diaspora participated in the Armenia Diaspora Conference which began Monday May 27, in Yerevan. This second conference began with a plenary session chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vartan Oskanian, who has headed the Planning Commission. President Robert Kocharian was the first speaker, followed by the President of Nagorno Karabagh, Arkady Ghoukasian, by Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, as well as Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. Also speaking at the Plenary Session were the heads of the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Evangelical communities, the three Diasporan political parties and various international Armenian organizations. Conference participants came from 48 countries and represented a cross-section of interests and involvement. During the two-day convocation, they will have the opportunity to attend 13 panels and hear panelists speak about a wide variety of topics including prospects for more structured Armenia-Diaspora relations, improving Armeniašs business and economic climate, using the Internet to benefit cultural, business and political activity, and developing more effective cultural, educational and scientific exchange. Mondayšs sessions on priority issues facing Armenians was chaired by Ambassador Jivan Tabibian. Speakers included members of Armeniašs parliament, the prime minister of Nagorno Karabakh. The two sessions on economic developmen were chaired by Deputy Minister of Trade and Economic Development Tigran Tavtyan, and American-Armenian businessman James Tufenkian. Minister of Education Levon Mkrtchian chaired the sessions on the need to develop an Armenian curriculum, and another on ways to nurture Armenian college students (in Armenia and abroad.) Panelists included businessmen from Armenia and the Diaspora, teachers, members of government in Armenia, Georgia and Lebanon, academics and social scientists, including Vartan Gregorian, Kevork Bardakjian and Joyce Barsam from the US, Michel Bazoumian, Razmig Panossian and Fr. Levon Zekiyan from Europe. Participants will meet again tomorrow for a second day of sessions, to be concluded by special meetings where concrete projects and proposals will be considered for adoption. The final plenary session will adopt decisions, if any, and a declaration. The conference will conclude on the evening of May 28, with a celebration at the Sardarabad Memorial, marking the 84th anniversary of the battle of Sardarabad.