On behalf of RA President Serzh Sargsyan, Chairman of the State Commission on Coordination of the Events for the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a state dinner was held today at the Presidential Palace in honor of the senior-level delegations and heads of state who have arrived in Armenia. During the dinner, Serzh Sargsyan made a toast:
Honorable representatives of states and international organizations;
My Fellow Armenians;
Words are not sometimes incapable of conveying emotions. Today is a case in point.
Thank you for coming Armenia from near and from far, for coming to stand by our side, for coming to reaffirm that nothing is forgotten and that history is yet to be told. You have come to distinguish the truth from lies, so as to convey the true lessons of history to generations to come.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I refuse to believe that history controls our destiny. I believe we craft our destiny, and we are capable of changing the development course of humanity.
I refuse to believe that transitory interests can shatter humanity’s dreams of freedom and peace cherished for centuries. Morality and conscience are inherent to our essence: otherwise, we would not have developed international humanitarian law, we would not have committed ourselves to universal moral values, we would not have humanitarian organizations, and finally, we would not be assembling here today.
Human beings are indeed creative. Humans have created advanced technology and the worldwide web. But today, more than ever, humanity needs love, tolerance and kindness, humanity and humaneness, so that our children do not experience what past generations did, or what we have witnessed in the modern day.
I believe that we have an exceptional opportunity, using the very tools we conceived, the numerous structures for cooperation, the unprecedented means of communication, and the international system of law to improve the existing arrangements for global peace, to reinforce the foundation of morality undermined throughout history, and to prevent any future atrocity against humanity.
I believe that we can build a world of solidarity and tolerance, where national, racial, and religious identity will be nothing but a source of pride. Each one of us ought to bear our share of responsibility in this process, as we are all irreversibly interconnected in a world where any boundaries are gradually disappearing.
Saint Gregory of Narek, recently proclaimed by Pope Francis a Doctor of the Universal Church, conveyed to us this message a full millennium ago: “The walk to peace cleanses of sins.”
Hence, let us raise our glasses to peaceful coexistence of all humankind, to peace that radiates and generates light.