May 11, 2006
ACNIS Takes Part in Vilnius Conference 2006
Vilnius—Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) director of research Stiopa Safarian and director of administration Karapet Kalenchian represented Armenia respectively at the NGO and the Intellectuals fora, entitled “Common Vision for Common Neighborhood,” which were separately convened in the capital of Lithuania from May 3 to 5. On May 5, the ACNIS officials attended the Heads of State Summit held under the auspices of President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania and Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
Stiopa Safarian participated in the Non-Governmental Organizations Forum on “Europes New Democracies and the Euro-Atlantic Agenda” where the conferees examined the ex-socialist blocs and post-Soviet countries integration process into Euro-Atlantic structures and the challenges they face to that end. Against the backdrop of the conference, Safarian also held meetings with Hilde Hardeman, the European Commissions director general on external relations and head of unit for relations with Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus; Michael Emerson, senior research fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (EU); Andrei Illarionov, president of the Institute of Economic Analysis and the Russian presidents former adviser on economic issues (Russian Federation); Professor Oleksandr Potyekhin of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ukraine); Zeyno Baran, senior fellow at the Hudson Institutes Center for Eurasian Policy (US); founder and president Bruce Pitcairn Jackson of the Project on Transitional Democracies (US); Wojciech Kononczuk, coordinator of the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland); director Cornelius Ochmann of the Bertelsmann Foundation (Germany); president Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman Foundation (France); and several others.
Meanwhile, Karapet Kalenchian attended and addressed the Intellectuals Forum held at the conference hall of the Presidential Palace of Lithuania. The participants discussed the advancement of democracy in Europes east, the formation of a European neighborhood domain, and the pacific regulation of disputes. In the margins of the event, Kalenchian met with distinguished post-Soviet scholars and academicians: Dean Leonidas Donskis of the Vytautas Magnus University School of Political Science and Diplomacy (Lithuania); director Jurij Afanasjev of the Russian State University of Human Science (Russian Federation); journalist and political analyst Evgeny Kiselev (Russian Federation); director Andrei Piontkovsky of the Center for Strategic Studies (Russian Federation); writer Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine); historian Igor Sarov (Moldova); executive director Igor Munteanu of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (Moldova); opera singer Mihail Muntean (Moldova); poet and former Belarus ambassador to the United Nations Genady Buravkin (Belarus); journalist Vladimir Dorokhov of Deutsche Welle (Belarus); director Irma Khvedeliani of the “Civic Dialogue and Counsel” European Integration Forum (Georgia); and many others. The resolution adopted by the delegates summarized the issues raised throughout their active deliberations.
On May 5, the Armenian representatives attended the Heads of State Summit, the official conclave of Vilnius Conference 2006, as observers. The meeting brought together Presidents Valdas Adamkus, Lech Kaczynski, Georgi Parvanov (Bulgaria), Arnold Rüütel (Estonia), Mikheil Saakashvili (Georgia), Vaira Vike-Freiberga (Latvia), Vladimir Voronin (Moldova), Traian Basescu (Romania), and Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine); US Vice President Richard Cheney; Secretary General Javier Solana of the Council of the European Union; UK Minister of State for Europe Douglas Alexander; and others. The open atmosphere of the convention afforded the Armenian delegates an opportunity to hold informal meetings and conversations with prominent individuals who shape European and Eurasian policy, to explore their vision for the future of the Euro-Atlantic system, and to present Armenias course in that connection.
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 2006, the Center focuses primarily on civic education, conflict resolution, and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.
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