The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) announced today that it will be honoring His Excellency Mr. Bako Sahakyan, President of the Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh) with its highest honor, the prestigious Freedom Award at its 10th Annual Banquet to be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016, in the nation’s capital.
“President Sahakyan has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to vigorously defending Artsakh’s independence, ensuring unprecedented redevelopment in the republic and establishing foundations of a peace-loving and open society, placing NKR on the international map of democracies,” explained ANCA Eastern Region Chairman Stephen Mesrobian. “We look forward to celebrating Artsakh’s 25th anniversary, as we recommit ourselves to supporting its status, security, development and the cause of peace in the region.”
During President Sahakyan’s tenure, Artsakh has blossomed exponentially in both foreign and domestic areas including establishment and practices of democratic principles, a fair market banking and loan system, traditional and non-traditional economic practices in areas of agriculture, mining, IT, and energy, with the latter resulting in Artsakh’s ability to now generate over 70% of the energy it consumes, as well as, creating bilateral foreign relations, which contributed to a number of new joint venture enterprises with dozens of well-respected companies from the United States, Canada, Russia, France, and Italy.
Born and raised in Stepanakert, President Sahakyan became an advocate for Artsakh freedom early on in his life. He carries an extensive career with the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army that spans for nearly two decades. Following his service to his homeland’s defense forces, he made the leap to government leadership and was eventually named the interior minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1999. He was elected as the fourth president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 2007, and was re-elected for a second term in 2012.
Past recipients of the ANCA-ER Freedom Award include lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin; renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau Family; U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans; Pulitzer Prize winning author and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Samantha Power; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez; the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy; former U.S. Senator Robert Dole; former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole; and Baroness Caroline Cox.