On June 5, 2019, on the heels of an official visit to Artsakh in support of the AGBU Fund for Artsakh, AGBU President Berge Setrakian had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan at the government building. Along with AGBU Armenia’s President Vasken Yacoubian and Executive Director Talar Kazanjian, Mr. Setrakian briefed the prime minister and key staffers on the successful Artsakh visit, presented the organization’s strategy for accelerating socio-economic development in the war-torn republic, and updated them on the progress of other AGBU initiatives throughout Armenia since the first official meeting with then- interim PM Pashinyan shortly after the Velvet Revolution.
Now, a year later, with the New Armenia Agenda under way, areas of mutual interest could be explored with greater substance and specificity with an understanding that the work of AGBU in Armenia is driven by a conviction that a strong, vibrant, democratic Armenia is the key to preserving and enhancing the global Armenian identity in the 21st century.
Prime Minister Pashinyan expressed the Armenian government’s appreciation of AGBU’s growing presence in the country and its ability to address pressing needs of the people on multiple fronts, assuring AGBU leadership of its desire to cooperate and assist, where appropriate, in meeting the organization’s strategic goals and programmatic needs.
After the one-hour meeting, Mr. Setrakian noted that there are many areas of mutual alignment, citing such examples as the AGBU Women’s Entrepreneurs program (W.E.), designed to uplift the status of women in Armenia through financial independence, and its efforts to build capacity among civil society organizations in Armenia through its Bridge for CSOs program, which can help promote an open and trusting relationship between citizens and their government. Both programs involve diaspora participation which adds another important dimension to the much needed reset in Armenia-Diaspora relations.
“Anything that AGBU can do to help the people of Armenia succeed in their personal lives and as citizens of a country with so much human potential will help keep the entire Armenian Nation moving in a positive direction,” Setrakian observed. “In these times, what happens in Armenia, does not stay in Armenia. Its trials and triumphs, its place in the world, and its image as a distinctive living culture, has, to one degree or another, tangibly or psychologically, an impact on Armenians everywhere.”
The parties agreed to continue an open dialogue in the months ahead to ensure optimal outcomes for shared goals. During his stay in Yerevan, Mr. Setrakian also met with President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian to discuss the highlights of his official visits.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit
organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational,
cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making
a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the
Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching
goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians.
To learn more visit www.agbu.org.