The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party conducted its 20th world congress in Armenia on September 10-13 of this year, and elected a new Central Committee as well as a new Central Committee Chairman. MassisPost had the chance to conduct a meeting in Nicosia with Mr. Hagop Dikranian, the newly elected S.D.H.P. Central Committee Chairman.
After the recent S.D.H.P. Worldwide Congress and Central Committee elections, what changes, if any, are to be expected from the Party?
The 20th Worldwide Congress of the Social Democrat Hunchakian party was a turning point for the party. New found challenges are placed in front of the party, which the newly elected Central Committee Board is already resolute to successfully overcoming within their responsibilities. With the consideration of the party structures, significant changes will be taking place. Through stages, we will witness a number of positive adjustments with the primary focus and priority going towards strengthening internal organizational structures in all sectors and regions. In terms of the party’s political standpoint, we reaffirmed our autonomy within Armenia’s political field.
Furthermore, as was decided in our congress, to continue to strengthen our relations with the progressive Turkish political parties who have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and bring about new opportunities for joint cooperation.
What is the current state of affairs of the Party in Armenia?
We lament the fact that the through the years the Hunchakian party has had internal unrest in Armenia and it never settled at the level as our members wished. We just hope that the unrest will remain in the past. To succeed, our comrades in Armenia face a challenge to put the extra effort for the integration within the party’s worldwide infrastructure, espouse and execute our party values and principles. It is the time to prove that, at this juncture, we will concentrate on internal organizational issues, shore up our presence in the provinces, villages and cities, and increasingly accentuate a stronger presence into the political field of Armenia.
What steps will the S.D.H.P. take towards the commemoration of 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide?
The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is an issue for the entire Armenian nation. Accordingly, the S.D.H.P is a part of the government commission in the Republic of Armenia headed by President Sargsyan to commemorate the 100th anniversary, as well as part of various existing bodies throughout the Armenian Diaspora in which we support and project our logistical and operational capabilities.
Can you discuss the S.D.H.P.’s involvement with the recent influx of Syrian refugees in Armenia?
First I must say that the S.D.H.P is closely following the developments in Syria. We believe that Syrian crisis should be settled by peaceful means and without intervention. At the same time, we continue to assist our Syrian Armenian brothers and sisters to the best of our abilities through the pan-Armenian efforts in different regions within the Diaspora, as well as cooperate with the Ministry of Diaspora within the Republic of Armenia. Here I want to emphasize the necessity of all Armenians to continue assisting our Syrian Armenian brethren in any possible way.
What do you see as the biggest challenge or obstacle for the S.D.H.P. in the upcoming years?
Party challenges need to be looked at from two different angles; Armenia and the Diaspora.
In terms of Armenia, the reality that Armenia’s political field is not founded on ideology, makes our work harder. Today, Armenia’s political class possess no ideology, and for a political party with founding principles the presence of principled values is a necessity for Armenia and its people, and thus for us a challenge.
In terms of the Diaspora, Armenian preservation and the pursuit of the Armenian Cause remain our main goals. The fluid situation in the Middle East concerns us and continually challenges us.
Any last thoughts or comments?
I want to take this opportunity to praise our sincere and devoted membership. We appreciate their renewed anticipation of positive news. We understand great expectations are connected to the new leadership. For my part, I recognize that it is no longer time to talk, but rather, it is time for action. Therefore, all of us jointly will bring about many future successes for our beloved party. Our future is bright because it is in our hands. Thank you.
SDHP 20th World Congress Communique
The following is a translation of the official communique of the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party 20th World Congress.
On September 10-13, 2013, the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party held its 20th World Congress in Armenia with S.D.H.P. delegates from 17 countries in attendance. The congress considered in detail, vital issues pertaining to Armenia, the Armenian people and the Diaspora, along with international, regional and organizational matters and political realities.
Looking at the situation of social and economic domestic policies of the Republic of Armenia, the Congress reiterated the founding principles of the S.D.H.P., namely to support and guide the legitimate social demands of the people, their discontent against corruption, protectionism and the oligarchy. Congress examined the serious problem of emigration and found that, in large part, was the result of social injustice and despair among the citizens of the Republic of Armenia when facing their future prospects in the Republic. The Congress emphasized that only a resolution of the unhealthy climate cited above could halt this national tragedy.
The Congress also noted that in recent years in Armenia, there has been a positive shift in the field of freedom of speech, but the gains made strengthening democracy are not yet sufficient.
The Congress concluded that the Armenian government should conduct its foreign policy accordance with local geopolitical realities. From this point of view, with cautious optimism, the Congress welcomed the decision by Armenian authorities to partake in the Customs Union, at the same time the Congress hopes that the Republic of Armenia will continue to deepen its cooperation with European bodies.
The Congress reasserted, the Party’s belief that a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be found on the basis of international principles and the right to self-determination of peoples. Regardless of the form of the resolution, it must be approved by a referendum of the people of Artsakh. The Congress emphasized the need for the Government of Karabakh to be involved in the peace talks. The Congress confirmed that the solidification of the independence of Artsakh remains the primary international concern of the Armenian people.
Regarding Armenian-Turkish relations, the Congress decided to continue to strengthen the relationship the S.D.H.P has begun with Turkish intellectuals who recognized the reality of the Armenian Genocide, seeking to establish new areas of cooperation.
At the same time, Congress finds that it is essential the documents of the Turkish-Armenian protocol be submitted to the Armenian National Assembly for consideration to be withdrawn.
On the eve of the Armenian Genocide centennial, Congress noted the readiness of the S.D.H.P. to participate with all Armenian groups and non-Armenians who continue the Armenian Cause.
The Congress carefully measured the catastrophic conflict in Syria and concluded that the Syrian conflict must be solved by peaceful means, without outside intervention. The Congress calls on all Armenians to continue and intensify their efforts to help our Syrian Armenian brethren.
Congress also heeded to the observations of the Diasporan delegates pertaining to their communities and endorsed the continuation of the relentless work carried out to safeguard Armenianism in the Diaspora.
After reviewing the status of the organizational structures of the Party, the Congress reached conclusions and provided directives to be utilized by all Party organizational structures.
The last item on the S.D.H.P. World Congress’ agenda was the election of a new Central Committee.
The S.D.H.P. World Congress concluded with a visit to the Yerablur military cemetery, to pay respect to our martyrs, and reaffirm the principles of the S.D.H.P. to follow in their footsteps.