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October 5, 2004

ACNIS MARKS TENTH ANNIVERSARY
Raffi Hovannisian and Finnish Foreign Minister
Erkki Tuomioja Keynote Gala

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), an institutional pioneer of independent policy research and analysis in the post-Soviet space, celebrated its tenth birthday today with an official banquet at the Armenia Marriott Hotel.

The gala event brought together public figures, ambassadors, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations, scholars and intellectuals, businessmen, media and NGO representatives, the Center's former and current employees, and contributors, associates, friends and supporters from Armenia and the Diaspora.

A complete exhibit of the Center's publications from 1994 to 2004, including occasional papers, monographs, yearbooks and special publications, was on display in the foyer of the "Tigran the Great" ballroom, where the festivities took place. The participants were presented with complimentary copies of the Center's newly-released jubilee volume entitled "Accounting for the Decade," encompassing a survey of its first decade of public service and featuring Center activities, analytical articles, congratulatory messages, public opinion polls, and an interview with founder Raffi K. Hovannisian.

Raffi Hovannisian, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs of the new Republic of Armenia, welcomed the invited guests. Recalling that the fifth anniversary of the Center, scheduled for October 29, 1999, did not take place because of the national tragedy in parliament, Hovannisian invited a moment of silence to remember the victims of October 27, the national heroes and unknown soldiers who fell on Armenia's road to freedom and independence, as well as departed Center employees Tigran Hairapetian, Bagrat Sadoyan, Valeri Aidinian, and Ashot Khalatian.

After the invocation and blessing of the table by Bishop Navasard Kjoyan, Prelate of the Araratian Diocese, Raffi Hovannisian remarked: "The Armenian Center for National and International Studies and its first ten years have been committed to the cause of institution-building and, often against the odds, to the forging of an infrastructure for a new political culture in which the free competition of ideas reigns within a national framework, and where rational and national policy options are sought in the domestic and international arenas through the creation of a comprehensive policymaking system for the Republic of Armenia and the nation entire."

At the end of his opening presentation, Hovannisian expressed words of gratitude to the Center's supporters in Armenia and around the world, its past and present employees, its colleagues and critics, and all those owing to whom the Center at ten is sound, solid, self-confident and at once self-renewing. On behalf of all ACNIS stakeholders, Noune Aidinian, a long-time Center executive, was noted for her decade of professional dedication.

Armenian duduk melodies, performed by distinguished artist Gevorg Dabaghian, complemented the supper service with nourishment for the soul.

Raffi Hovannisian then introduced His Excellency Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, who delivered the keynote address on "Security in the Globalizing World." In his vision, modern nations can profit from globalization through mutual integration and simultaneous maintenance of national identity, whereas isolated countries or marginal groups might themselves come to constitute the cause for security dilemmas.

"In a globalizing world, we all are more and more dependent on each other, which leads to closer cooperation between states than ever before," the Minister asserted. "The European Union is developing and responding to new challenges and how we in Finland see security in today's world. The newly independent states in the Western Balkans and in the former Soviet Union have unfortunately not developed without difficulties. We have witnessed many armed conflicts and even war both inside and between countries, with great losses and human suffering. Both old and new threats have escalated, especially terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but also issues such as ethnic intolerance, environmental threats, pandemics, drugs, cross-border organized crime and uncontrolled migration. According to the Security Strategy, the EU needs to be more active in pursuing its strategic objectives. It also needs to be more capable, more coherent and work in close cooperation with partners. These principles apply to the full spectrum of instruments for crisis management and conflict prevention at the EU's disposal, including political, diplomatic, military and civilian, trade and development activities. The Union is not and will not become a military great power, but it can become an effective actor in conflict prevention and crisis management."

In a musical interlude, the guests then enjoyed Shoghakn folk ensemble soloist Hasmik Harutiunian's vocal offering of "Lullabye Medley," "Love Ballad of Van," and "Homeland."

The evening concluded with a moving public rendition of the Armenian National Anthem, and evening enjoyment provided by folk-jazz pianist Vahagn Hairapetian and his friends.




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Opening Remarks
Raffi K. Hovannisian
ACNIS Founding Director

 
 

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Invocation
Bishop Navasard Kjoyan
Prelate of Araratian Diocese

 
 

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Dinner Entertainment
Distinguished Artist of Armenia
Gevorg Dabaghian

 
 

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Keynote Address
Security in a Globalizing World
H. E. Erkki Tuomioja
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Republic of Finland

 
 

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Musical Interlude
Hasmik Harutiunian
Lullabye Medley
(Folk Songs)
Love Ballad of Van
(Folk Songs)
Homeland
(Robert Amirkhanian)

 
 

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Special Presentation
and Closing

 
 

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Armenian National Anthem
Our Fatherland

 
 

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Evening Enjoyment
Vahagn Hairapetian and Friends

 

 

ERKKI TUOMIOJA

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland

  • Born July 1, 1946, Helsinki, Finland
  • Social Democrat (SDP)
  • Doctor of Political Sciences, Master of Science (Economic and Business Administration)
  • Languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, French, German
  • Formerly Minister of Trade and Industry and Chairman of SDP Parliamentary Faction

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75 ºñ½ÝÏÛ³Ý ÷áÕáó
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THE ARMENIAN CENTER
FOR NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

75 Yerznkian Street
Yerevan 375033, Armenia


Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian, and supported by the Lincy Foundation and 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 2004, the Center focuses primarily on public outreach, civic education, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center and its activities, call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; e-mail root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am

 
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5 October 2004




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