22 September 2017
AGBU took an active part in the latest Armenia-Diaspora conference that took place in Yerevan, Armenia, from September 18 to 19 at the initiative of the Ministry of the Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia. AGBU Europe in particular was represented by Nicolas Tavitian, Director, and Haik Khanamiryan, member of the Executive Committee.
The agenda of the conference was mostly focused on the priorities of the Republic of Armenia, i.e. economic development, security and foreign policy. The fourth topic of the conference addressed the preservation of Armenian identity, a concern more prevalent in the Diaspora.
Speaking at the conference, Nicolas Tavitian presented AGBU Europe’s approach to identity. The organization indeed is keen to offer Armenian identity as an opportunity for the next generation, rather than as a burden; “we must therefore direct our energies to making that identity ‘desirable’, he said, not least because it “provides access to unique and enriching intellectual and cultural capital and to supportive social and professional networks.”
At the event, Tavitian outlined the organization’s strategy, emphasizing in particular the significance of networking and leadership. Identity also depends on people staying connected and on “making and writing history” together: success depends on the ability to do great things together.
It is from this concern that AGBU developed the Goriz leadership programme, which it is now planning to take to a new level. Also addressing the conference, Haik Khanamiryan emphasized the great number of talented young people who had the potential to become outstanding leaders. The Goriz programme will provide them with the best possible training for that purpose.
AGBU Europe’s strategy’s four pillars are the Prosperity for Armenians, Language and Heritage, Network Platform and Stewardship as well as Leadership and Influence. AGBU Europe is keen to raise awareness of the need to take a comprehensive approach to Armenian identity in the diaspora, and promotes cooperation and complementarity among all diaspora organizations.