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December 13, 2007

ACNIS Continues Its Youth Debate Series

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today convened a policy discussion to explore the ways toward resolving the Mountainous Karabagh conflict and to analyze whether this dispute should be settled by means of one-package or multi-phase solution alternatives. The meeting brought together students from the leading institutions of higher learning, young political activists, and policy specialists.

Welcoming the audience with opening remarks, Hrair Manukian of the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) emphasized the necessity for civic participation by the students in order to elucidate the subject matter of the day. “The Mountainous Karabagh conflict is an actual topic, and the political discussions over the one-package and multi-phase alternatives toward its solution have become active once again,” Manukian stated.

In his intervention, Sevada Gevorgian of ASUE spoke in favor of the multi-phase alternative and brought attention to the effectiveness of this option. He also made note of the possible outcomes should this alternative be used for the Karabagh resolution. “In the case of applying the multi-phase alternative, Artsakh’s independence will be guaranteed further and its prospects for continuous stability and international recognition will increase more steadily,” Gevorgian noted.

Next speaker, Suren Parsian of ASUE, made a retrospect and examined the changing attitude of the international community with respect to the Mountainous Karabagh question. He also pointed to the fact that the Armenian settlement proposals are more in tune with the international law. “The concessions must be evenly balanced and therefore rather than handing over occupied regions to attain autonomy, the occupied regions must be swapped instead,” Parsian maintained.

The policy roundtable concluded with an exchange of opinions and policy recommendations among university students, civil activists, and policy specialists. Reflecting on the views expressed by the students, political scientist Edward Antinian likewise offered his professional analyses. In her turn, Armenia’s first Ombudswoman and MP Larisa Alaverdian underscored the necessity for such discussions among the youth circle and urged the students to make maximum use of any discourse with their Azerbaijani counterparts. “Respect your adversary, meet and make contact with one another and only then shape your own views,” Alaverdian said.

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In 2007, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, democratic development, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am ; or visit www.acnis.am.


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