NEW YORK, YEREVAN – The global Armenian community must do more to deliver a successful future for the nation that is economically and socially secure, according to an open letter published today and signed by a group of high profile Armenians around the world.
The letter was issued on the occasion of the 110th anniversary celebrations of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in New York. The signatories include Ruben Vardanyan, Noubar Afeyan, Vartan Gregorian, Charles Aznavour, Lord Ara Darzi, Ambassador Edward Djerejian, the Honorable Dickran Tevrizian, and Samvel Karapetyan, as well as a number of other supporters. Beyond noting the major milestone represented by this anniversary, the letter highlights the critical challenges ahead and the need for unprecedented action and commitment from Armenia and Armenian diaspora communities. The open letter was published in The New York Times, based in the U.S., and the Haiastani Hanrapetuthiun, based in Armenia.
The group called upon “Global Armenians” – those who consider themselves both Armenians and global citizens – to recognize that the Armenian community today stands at a crossroads. Twenty-five years into independence and 100 years after the devastating Genocide, Armenia remains vulnerable as a nation. Through investment and collaboration, this group believes that Global Armenians can play a transformative role in developing a prosperous, secure and peaceful region.
“Armenians around the world must work together to ensure that our Armenia can reach its full potential as a world-leading nation,” said Noubar Afeyan, member of the board of the IDeA Foundation of Armenia and of the AGBU. “This will require an unprecedented commitment from the global Armenian community. We need to invest time, expertise, relationships and money to create and champion initiatives that will drive Armenia into the future it deserves. Delaying action and investment will mean that a vulnerable state remains at risk – and the alternative, remaining unengaged, is indefensible.”
“Many great civilizations in the history of humanity have disappeared into oblivion. Each one of them represents a permanent loss of culture, language and religion for all humanity. We have to keep this in mind as it could happen to Armenians as well,” said international singer and diplomat Charles Aznavour. “This is the goal of our enemies whoever they may be, aided by those who make a profit or choose to turn a blind eye. However the greatest threat comes from within us, and it is through inaction.”
Inviting individuals as well as public and private organizations to join this commitment, the letter asks that institutions dedicated to the advancement of Armenia pool resources to continue the work laid by previous philanthropic initiatives that have built vital institutions and capabilities in the country.
“Armenia needs support from its worldwide community if it is to succeed. While a number of initiatives are underway by various groups that demonstrate a record of success, delivering programs that have impact on the people of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora, there is still a great deal of work left to be done,” said, Ruben Vardanyan, member of the board of the IDeA Foundation of Armenia and of the AGBU. “We ask all Armenians to join with us to advance our country’s culture and infrastructure, and propel Armenia into a successful and sustainable future.”
Global Armenian leaders see the challenges facing Armenia and Armenians today as an opportunity to pivot to a future of prosperity and transform the Armenian Republic into a thriving, secure, democratic homeland for a global nation. They believe that the time has come for the Armenian community to engage and unite to successfully secure long-lasting socio-cultural and economic improvement for the nation.