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Armenia-Diaspora Conference 2002 Report

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia
Contact: Information Desk
Tel: (374-1) 52-35-31


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

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

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

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.

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