Armenia’s new President Armen Sarkissian is confident Armenia can be an attractive partner, a bridge for new technologies and solutions between the East and the West.
“The 21st century is a century of thought and scientific flight and, accordingly, we must build a new and young Armenia, a dynamically developing, flexible and creative Armenia, a country that will materialize our people’s wisdom and talent – a country to meet our most cherished wishes and expectations, to become an endless source of pride and enthusiasm for all of us, homeland for all Armenians across the globe,” The President said after the inauguration ceremony.
Armen Sarkissian’s speech in full is provided below:
Distinguished Mr. President and Mrs. Sargsyan,
Honorary President of the Artsakh Republic,
Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Dear Members of Parliament,
Honorable Prime Minister,
Dear Members of Government,
Your Excellencies, Diplomatic Corps Representatives,
Dear Compatriots and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, it is a great honor for me to assume the high office of President of the Republic of Armenia. This is a huge responsibility before the country, people and history.
It motivates me to exert all my energy in order to live up to the confidence that the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia vested in me on March 2. To justify the hopes cherished by different layers of Armenian society – from intellectuals to ordinary citizens, as well as our compatriots from Artsakh and the Diaspora, who closely follow Motherland’s achievements and efforts.
Faith gives me strength: confidence in the future of our country and people, trust in the perseverance, diligence and talent of Armenian citizens and our sisters and brothers around the world.
Today, we are on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the First Republic and are shifting to the parliamentary system of governance.
That is, on the one hand, we have a 100-year history of republican governance and, on the other hand, we are symbolically starting a new page.
A century ago, after the heavy losses suffered by the Armenian people, superhuman efforts and deeds were needed to save and entertain the tiny land that remained from our great homeland. In honor of the previous generations, both during the First and Second Republics, our nation managed to not only stand on its own feet, but also to introduce itself to the world in a dignified manner.
That is why the present generation happened not only to proclaim the Third Republic, but also to make our homeland independent, strengthen our autonomy and sovereignty, create powerful army. The victorious liberation war brought us back to our national dignity. It uplifted our spirit.
And today no one should doubt that Armenia and the entire Armenian people will stand by Artsakh and fight for its legitimate rights: yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Glory and honor to our people and our heroes. Glory to Armenia’s victorious army!
I highly appreciate the great work that has been done through endurance, patience and heroism of our people, and, often, at the cost of great sufferings, over the last three decades, led by three presidents of the Republic – Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan.
Of course, time will give a full assessment to our past, but event today we can state objectively and with confidence that following the breakdown of the USSR, in the face of the devastating earthquake of Spitak, the Artsakh war, the collapsed economy and the blockade, we managed to build a country strong with solid statehood, vision of open society, guided by universal values – a country which has earned the respect of the international community and the reputation of a reliable partner. This is a very important historical achievement against the setback of existing challenges.
Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and the Comprehensive and Enhanced Cooperation Agreement as signed with the European Union open up new prospects and opportunities for our country’s development. The parliamentary system of government shall provide the best conditions for that. In this regard, I want to extend a vote of thanks to Serzh Sargsyan for his political vision and the skills of a statesman and organizer.
The heroic past and experience of the Armenian people show that our history is more of a history of spirit. Without that spirit and faith, we could not have arrived in our days from time immemorial, and in the meantime, we have to go along with progressive mankind and make a contribution to global progress.
We have been at the roots of today’s universal values – from the classic epoch of ancient Rome and Greece, the birth of Christianity to the present day. We can rightfully be proud of being the successors of a unique Armenian civilization that has been shaped and developed over several millennia on the Armenian Plateau.
In those vast domains of time and space, we have gained invaluable experience of coexistence with different peoples. Through our history, we have proved that we are creators, peacemakers and a peace-loving people.
That is why Armenia is consistent in its policy of resolving all conflicts and political issues in a peaceful and negotiated way; the policy of preventing genocides and other crimes against humanity. The great tragedy that the Armenian people suffered 100 years ago during the years of Mets Yeghern serve a lesson of vigilance to everyone. Therefore, recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not an end in itself. The international recognition and condemnation of this appalling crime against humanity is an important step on the way to having it ruled out anywhere in the world.
Today, the peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is crucial to our country and the entire Armenian people. Strong Armenia and strong Artsakh are of course the first guarantee of it. In order to achieve an equitable resolution and safeguard the inalienable rights of Artsakh’s people, we must continue to build a strong, economically developing, flourishing and powerful Armenia.
To achieve that vision of Armenia, we must provide the best environment for our citizens’ self-manifestation. Together, we must wage a consistent campaign against all adverse and vicious phenomena in the State system, in society and in our environment – from corruption to social injustice, from indifference to irresponsibility. Each of us has a role to play in this uncompromising and right struggle.
We will succeed if apart from criticizing others, we come up with appropriate solutions; if instead of creating divides, we unite and work together.
For the sake of achieving our national goals, the comprehensive consolidation of Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora unity and the most effective use of its potential should be set as a priority.
The Church is the most important pledge and pillar of our national unity, a universal and national structure that has rallied the nation for many centuries. We must do everything possible to rule out any artificial contradiction and realize the actual power of our collective. We must develop new efficient mechanisms for addressing national issues; a unified agenda, common responsibility and joint efforts. I am confident that we will understand and materialize this formula ahead of time.
A small country – a global nation: this is our calling and essence.
Trust, confidence, justice and daily good work: these are values that can boost creativity and energy in our society – trust in the present say and tomorrow, a clear vision of the economy and its tangible implications will not only bring about economic growth, influx of domestic and foreign investments, but also prevent emigration and ensure that most of our fellow countrymen return to their homeland.
However, no matter how attractive and theoretically justified are the promises of a bright future: people just want to see their fruits today – in their daily lives – and they are right.
The world we live in and our children are changing rapidly, transforming into a vast field of competition. We must be prepared for it, invest in science, new technologies, education and culture. We need to keep in touch with the world’s best scientific, educational and research centers – from the West to the East, from the North to the South.
Let us embrace new ideas, share the best experience. And on the basis of all this, we will develop specific solutions and offer them to the world.
I am confident that we can make of Armenia an attractive partner; a bridge for new technologies and solutions between the East and the West. This is the future.
I assure young people from Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora that I will always be with you not only in my capacity of President of Armenia, but also as a person with some experience in the aforementioned field.
We live in a changing world, full of dangers, threats and challenges. But for us it is also full of new and attractive opportunities. It depends on us whether or not we can take advantage of those historical opportunities. What kind of Armenia we want to build in the 21st century depends on us: a country that will be able to defy emerging challenges and hold a worthy place among the leading nations.
This is a truly historic opportunity. The 21st century is a century of thought and scientific flight and, accordingly, we must build a new and young Armenia, a dynamically developing, flexible and creative Armenia, a country that will materialize our people’s wisdom and talent – a country to meet our most cherished wishes and expectations, to become an endless source of pride and enthusiasm for all of us, homeland for all Armenians across the globe.
Glory to the Republic of Armenia!
Glory to Artsakh!
Glory to the Armenian nation!
God save us all!