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February 22, 2010


Yerevan—On February 19, the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) hosted a special reception to release the new ACNIS annual yearbook publication, entitled “ACNIS at 15: The Power of New Ideas” [see Table of Contents]. The reception was attended by over 100 guests, including members of the Armenian parliament and government officials, representatives from international organizations and members of the diplomatic community in Armenia, including Italian Ambassador Bruno Scapini, British Ambassador Charles Lonsdale and Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, the head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Welcoming the guests, ACNIS Director Richard Giragosian explained that the release of the “ACNIS at 15: The Power of New Ideas” yearbook represented the Center’s mission to offer innovative research and objective analysis on a wide range of critical issues in order to raise the level of public awareness and to encourage greater knowledge and debate within Armenian society. He added that the yearbook also reflected the Center’s past fifteen years of objective and professional analysis, which he stressed was rooted in a broader effort to strengthen and deepen the formulation of public policy in Armenia. The ACNIS director specifically pointed to the significance of the name of the yearbook, highlighting that it was based on “the power of new ideas” in order to contribute to the development of critical thinking in Armenia.

Giragosian also expressed sadness, however, with the fact that the reception coincided with the sixth anniversary of the tragic murder of Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Markarian, who was brutally killed by an Azerbaijani soldier during a NATO language training course in Budapest, Hungary. Commemorating the Armenian officer’s murder, Giragosian explained that the tragic crime only affirmed the larger reality of threats to Armenian security that he explained were not only demonstrated by the murder but that are also confirmed by Azerbaijan’s repeated threats of war and militant rhetoric directed against Armenia.

On behalf of the Center, Giragosian then welcomed the more than 100 guests and specifically thanked the representatives from the embassies of France, Italy, Romania, Syria, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as from international organizations, such as the Council of Europe, the European Union Delegation in Armenia, the OSCE Office in Yerevan, the Red Cross, United Nations and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). He also noted the presence of officials from the Armenian ministries of defense, finance, foreign affairs and justice, as well as Armenian Members of Parliament Larisa Alaverdyan, Anahit Bakhshyan, Armen Martirosyan and Stepan Safaryan from the “Heritage” Party.

Giragosian then introduced two prominent contributors to the Yearbook, Dr. Tatoul Manasserian and ACNIS Senior Analyst Manvel Sargsian. Dr. Manasserian, a Professor of Economics at Yerevan Sate University, offered his congratulations to ACNIS for its decade and a half of work and hailed the yearbook as the latest example of the Center’s commitment to innovative and objective analysis. For his part, ACNIS Senior Analyst Sargsian expressed his appreciation to the guests and added that the new publication offered a diverse set of papers and studies covering a broad range of domestic and foreign policy issues with a national, regional and international focus.

In his closing remarks, ACNIS Director Giragosian reminded the guests that the Center was created 15 years ago as a pioneering institutional initiative by Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose vision centered on the need for an objective and independent strategic research institution or “think tank” in Armenia.

The nearly 500-page “ACNIS at 15: The Power of New Ideas” yearbook offers a unique collection of two dozen essays and articles, in Armenian, English and Russian, authored by leading Armenian and international experts. The yearbook also includes a comprehensive summary chronology of significant events in each of the countries of the South Caucasus region since 1991, focusing on political, economic, social and security-related developments in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Nagorno Karabagh, and offers the reader an accompanying set of reference maps, documents and materials. The “ACNIS at 15: The Power of New Ideas” yearbook is available by contacting the Center and the electronic version can be readily downloaded from the ACNIS website at www.acnis.am/main.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

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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Armenian version