Foreign visits

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Working Visit to New York

24.09.2018 - 26.09.2018

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 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan arrived in New York on a working visit. On the evening of September 23, the Prime Minister met with representatives of the Armenian community and U.S.-based Armenian organizations in New York. Nikol Pashinyan thanked them for such a warm welcome, noting that he had already met with many of them in an atmosphere of general enthusiasm in Armenia.

“The 27th anniversary of Armenia’s independence was celebrated two days ago. We had not seen such a festive atmosphere of independence celebrations since the referendum on independence in Armenia. This mood was confirmed today with another fact. You may know that Yerevan City Council elections have been held, with 99% of results summed up already. In those elections that went off in absolutely fair, free and transparent conditions, My Step alliance has won 81% of the votes. This means that the allegations about the possibility of a counter-revolution are null and void as evidenced by the election results,” the Prime Minister said, noting that the only thing that is possible in Armenia is lawfulness, democracy, independent judiciary and free economic competition

Nikol Pashinyan underscored that unlike what we have had for many years, there are no longer monopolies and privileged people in Armenia. “The government has set itself many priority tasks to address - foreign policy, economy, institutional, etc. Two days ago, the European Court of Human Rights issued its first ruling on the events of March 1-2, 2008, which according to lawyers’ opinion, implies that the whole judicial system was at odds with lawfulness and legality in Armenia. This means that what I was talking about at the rally of August 17 has been confirmed by the ECHR judgment,” the Head of Government said.

The Prime Minister stressed that faced up with serious challenges, Armenia pins great hopes on the Diaspora’s backing. “A landmark shift has occurred in Armenia’s development model. Before the revolution many used to ask others to do something, but now we realize that each of us has to do something. The revolution’s pivotal meaning is that every citizen of Armenia now understands that his or her position is decisive in terms of shaping Armenia’s future. No matter who is the prime minister, what matters is that today the citizens of Armenia are free to elect a government or a member of parliament through fair, transparent and democratic elections. It may seem somewhat strange that the ruling political force gets so many votes in City Council elections, but you all know that there was a particular political context in those elections. I had asked people to vote for My Step alliance as an approval of early parliamentary elections,” Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that he would negotiate with parliamentary and non-parliamentary political forces to discuss the terms and timetable of early parliamentary elections. “There was a mood that they should be held by June next year, but the expectation that potential investors have in terms of making long-term political records, and the overall economic environment make the elections more earnest, of course. Today, the structure of our economy is far from giving rise to any optimism, and we have to change it. Today, it consists of three main branches: agriculture, which does not meet modern requirements; mining which sells the national wealth, and finally the betting industry.

Our economy stated a two-digit rate of activity in July owing to the World Football Championship. We disapprove this state of affairs, and we want Armenia to turn from an agrarian, mining nation into a high-tech country, which is our most important imperative as it stems from our security environment.

Our government did everything to keep the situation stable in the country as it was the most important challenge in the post-revolutionary period, and we did it.
Today, our most important task is to attract new investments. To this end, we have embarked on a tax code reform; we are building an independent judiciary; we are trying to ensure a stable political situation, for which we need to hold snap parliamentary elections in the near future. The outturn of Yerevan City Council elections demonstrated that early parliamentary elections are inevitable and they should be held soonest possible,” the Prime Minister underscored.

The Head of Government reiterated that monopolies and corruption have become a thing of the past in Armenia: the City Council elections were free from corruption; they went off without interventions on the part of district and criminal figures. “The citizens of Armenia had the opportunity to vote for whom they wanted, and eventually they have voted for the revolution, snap parliamentary elections, in favor of a free and happy Armenia. Today, money does not have any influence on election results; we will develop tools to ensure that money is used for canvassing purposes rather than for buying votes,” Nikol Pashinyan concluded.

Coming to Armenia-Diaspora relations, the Prime Minister noted that labor should henceforth prevail over charity. “Armenia can be backed in just one way - by promoting economic activity. Armenia should be perceived as a business-friendly country. Our message is as follows: “Get richer and enrich others.” Armenia no longer needs charity projects; instead we need development programs, such as the Tumo Center, which has become one of the most important centers of modern Armenia.

We hope that new international brands will be created in Armenia to change the strategic destination of the State and the Armenian people. The era of survival is over, and the time of developing Armenia has come. We should treat the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora relations as a single body,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

In conclusion, the Premier touched upon Armenia’s foreign policy. “We are going to develop relations with all international partners, but we are not going to do it at the expense of others. We will try to strengthen our relations with Russia, EAEU members, Iran, Georgia, the European Union and the United States. We should be more confident in these relations, with approaches inherent in a sovereign nation. We will pursue our foreign policy based on national interests and not on the need to remain on office,” the Premier emphasized.

Nikol Pashinyan answered a number of other questions concerning the freedom of expression and mass media, the status of human rights, the independence of the judiciary, Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s activities, education, light industry, banking system, etc.

* * *

On September 24, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN headquarters. Prime Minister Pashinyan stressed the importance of closer and stronger cooperation between the Government of Armenia and the United Nations in the protection and promotion of UN-proclaimed values.

The Premier emphasized that effective bilateral cooperation may go a long way toward implementing multifaceted reforms in our country and expressed the hope that the joint efforts will not only be continued, but will also gain momentum. Noting that our country is actively involved in UN activities through its various platforms, the Head of the Armenian Government said that targeted UN assistance will help build Armenia’s development potential.

António Guterres expressed conviction that the ongoing effective cooperation with Armenia will be strengthened and deepened ahead. The UN Secretary-General pointed out that the latest political changes in Armenia stand as a brilliant example of peaceful transfer of power and expressed the hope that our country will continue along the path of progress by implementing new reforms in different directions.

As they exchanged views on the proposed early parliamentary elections in Armenia, the interlocutors stressed the need for such fundamental reforms as would technically rule out the possibility of electoral frauds. In that context, Nikol Pashinyan highlighted the importance of continued technical assistance on the part of the United Nations.

The parties next touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The Prime Minister thanked the UN Secretary-General for full support of the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office toward the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the UN headquarters in New York.

Nikol Pashinyan attached importance to the development of Armenian-Cypriot friendly relations, noting that he was pleased with the current level of bilateral political cooperation. The Premier deemed it necessary to bolster economic exchanges and increase trade turnover.

Nicos Anastasiades spoke warmly about Armenia and the Armenian people and stressed the need for deepening and expanding the excellent friendly relations between the two countries.

Sharing the view that trade and economic ties should to be stepped up, the parties stressed the need to hold a business forum and take appropriate steps to that end. They highlighted the role of the Armenian community in Cyprus and expressed confidence that it could become a bridge, especially as regards the development of economic cooperation.

As they discussed issues related to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Cyprus issue, Nikol Pashinyan and Nicos Anastasiades attached importance to the peaceful negotiations. The interlocutors made a point of cooperation on different international platforms.

In conclusion, Nicos Anastasiades invited Prime Minister Pashinyan to visit Cyprus at his convenience.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The parties discussed issues related to bilateral relations and the ongoing preparations for the 17th Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie (ICF) to be held this October in Yerevan.

Nikol Pashinyan and Paul Kagame expressed conviction that the Summit will turn a new page in Armenia’s relations with the African nations, including Rwanda, and will help develop and deepen multifaceted ties of cooperation.

Nikol Pashinyan attached importance to raising the qualitative level of bilateral relations and taking practical steps in that direction.

The interlocutors expressed conviction that the Francophone Summit will be held at the highest level and will help promote and strengthen ties between the Member States in different spheres. Nikol Pashinyan advised that an economic forum will be held on the sidelines of the Summit and invited Rwandan businessmen to attend the event.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is in New York on a working visit, participated in the UN-hosted summit on September 24, referred to as Global Call for Action on the Global Narcotics Problem.

The participants first attended an official photo session with U.S. President Donald Trump, after which the workshops started. Later on Nikol Pashinyan partook in the opening of the Peace Summit dedicated to Nelson Mandela, attended by U.S. President Donald Trump and leaders and heads of government from many countries participating in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Pashinyan stated:

“Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to address Nelson Mandela Peace Summit that marks the centennial anniversary of this iconic political leader. Mandela’s image symbolizes peace and human dignity, embodying struggle and compassion at the same time.

His name is deeply rooted in our collective memory as a pioneer for the fight against racism and discrimination, strong advocate of justice and equality.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was only half a year ago, when the people of Armenia rejected fear and injustice and went out to the streets to protest for their fundamental rights, freedom and dignity.

As the dramatic events were unfolding in the streets of Yerevan I was asked if I had a model of a leader who inspired me in my nation’s strive for democracy and social justice and my answer was YES, there is such a leader. And that leader is Nelson Mandela.

Having been a political prisoner myself, I closely followed the political path and life story of this most famous political prisoner who would change his own country and indeed the aspirations of millions worldwide.

As Mandela said on one occasion “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Mandela’s walk, the long walk to freedom was with me during my imprisonment, and to a great extend influenced my conscience and motivated me to embark on my own “long walk to freedom” through prison and persecution, through struggle against injustice across the towns and villages of my country.

In the true spirit of Mandela’s ideas, our movement became known to the world as Armenian non-violent velvet revolution of love and solidarity and now, months after my people’s success, I stand here at the high rostrum of this summit as the head of modern Armenian government to celebrate the legacy of this great person whose courage and determination served as an example for others around the globe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come from a region, where unfortunately bloody conflicts, corrupt system of governance, animosity between people overshadow wisdom and the need for peaceful coexistence.

Democracies are not supposed to wage wars against each other. I hope that one day our region’s democratic development will rule out the risks of hostilities, wars and hatred. Armenia has firmly embarked on this path of and strongly stands for regional peace, stability and reconciliation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year we will mark the seventieth anniversaries of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

This provides us with yet another opportunity to reflect on the reasons of why the humanity to this day is not immune from the scourge of discrimination, intolerance, xenophobia, persecution and crimes against humanity.

The life and struggle of Nelson Mandela will stand as a true role model of what should and can be done, as he was preaching that “no one is born hating another person…, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love”.

Thank you.”

In conclusion, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the members of the Armenian delegation went to view the 12th-13th century Armenian cross-stone at the UN headquarters.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan joined Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II to visit Armenia exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum. The Prime Minister toured the exhibition halls to get acquainted with the best samples of Armenian art and culture dating as far back as the 4th to 17th centuries.

Nikol Pashinyan noted that 2018 is a symbolic year for the strengthening of U.S.-Armenian cultural ties. “This year Armenian culture is being presented in the United States of America in an unprecedented manner. It will help make Armenian art and culture more identifiable and attractive for the friendly American people.

This year marks the 400 anniversary of the first ever arrival of Armenians in the United States. It was in 1618, when the first Armenian, with a name Martin reached Virginia and settled himself in Jamestown. It was the head start, later on more Armenian immigrants came, bringing with them their national traditions, lifestyle and culture.

Earlier this year, Armenian culture, customs and traditions were exhibited in the heart of the U.S. capital, Washington, DC within the framework of the Smithsonian Folk life Festival. It provided Armenian people with an opportunity to represent Armenian culture in its unique variety not only to the Americans, but also to thousands of tourists from different parts of the world.

A few weeks ago our two peoples jointly celebrated the 110th Anniversary of Pulitzer Prize-winner, playwright and writer William Saroyan. To celebrate his literary legacy, Saroyan’s Museum has been inaugurated in Fresno, the writer’s native town. As the culmination of this unprecedented cultural year for Armenia in the United States, I now have a great honor and personal joy to attend this unique exhibition - unique in many respects,” the Prime Minister said, adding that it represents an integrated Armenian culture as the representative of Western Culture and Christian Civilization.

The Premier noted that the exhibition brings together the Armenian heritage of 14 centuries with its priceless masterpieces from around the world in one of the most important museums in the world. Nikol Pashinyan expressed conviction that it would undoubtedly change the perception and assessment of Armenia and Armenian art in the United States.

“Due to this wonderful initiative, multiple visitors of the museum can get acquainted with the historical and cultural heritage of the nation who was the first to adopt Christianity as its state religion. More than 140 relics, illustrated manuscripts, miniatures of churches, cross-tones, printed books and other unique exhibits are displayed in the museum, among them works of such renowned authors as Toros Roslin, Sargis Pitsak, Toros Taronatsi, Hakob Jughayetsi, Grigor Tatevatsi,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said, noting that for many people this exhibition is the accomplishment of their dream. He added that it was made possible through the efforts of Mrs. Helen Evans and her partners.

Nikol Pashinyan also thanked the President of the Museum Daniel Ways, the Director of the Museum Max Holley, the event coordinators, as well as all individual donors, foundations, Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Constantinople, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The exhibition presents the best examples of Armenian art and culture from the 4th to the 17th century. The exhibition is dedicated to the Armenian people's artistic and cultural achievements in the global context. There are 140 samples in the exhibition.

* * *

On September 25, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan first attended a reception hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in honor of the heads of country delegations. Then the Prime Minister attended the opening of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, during which UN Secretary-General António Guterres and U.S. President Donald Trump delivered speeches.

Prime Minister Pashinyan is scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings with heads of different countries and organizations. Later on, the Armenian Prime Minister will address the General Assembly with a speech.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki at the UN headquarters. The interlocutors discussed the ongoing preparations for the Yerevan Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).

Nikol Pashinyan assured that Armenia is doing its best in order to hold the Summit at the highest possible level and bid a warm welcome to the high-level delegations of OIF-member nations from the African continent. Moussa Faki expressed conviction that the Summit will help develop multifaceted relationships between Armenia and the African countries.

The parties stressed the importance of the business forum due to be held within the framework of the Summit, which may propel the expansion of business ties.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn at the UN headquarters in New York.

The parties discussed a broad range of issues related to the furtherance of EU-Armenia relations, expansion of cooperation. They touched upon the steps aimed at implementing the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Nikol Pashinyan pointed out that the Armenian government has embarked upon the path of upward democratic development with a view to enforcing the rule of law, promoting human rights and building a competitive and business-friendly environment. The Premier attached importance to EU’s comprehensive support for democratic reforms in Armenia.

Touching on the Yerevan City Council elections, Nikol Pashinyan said that more than 80 percent of the votes cast had gone to My Step Alliance, which means that people have voted for snap parliamentary elections. The Premier noted that the latest elections proved free and transparent, and the defeated political forces congratulated the winning candidate which, according to Nikol Pashinyan, is unprecedented in Armenia and can set a good example of political culture. The head of the Armenian government also said that he was going to negotiate with other political forces the necessity of holding early parliamentary elections in Armenia.

Johannes Hahn noted that the European Union will continue its programs and activities aimed at promoting cooperation with Armenia as part of the programs envisaged under the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in an effort to develop democracy, enforce the rule of law, protect human rights and reform the judiciary. Johannes Hahn stressed that Armenia can expect continued assistance on the part of the European Union in tune with the Government’s priorities.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the UN headquarters in New York.

Pleased with the current status of political cooperation, the parties attached importance to the continuous development of Armenian-Lebanese friendly relations. They stressed the importance of business forums in terms of strengthening economic ties and increasing trade turnover between the two countries.

As they discussed ways of promoting cooperation in different spheres, Nikol Pashinyan and Michel Aoun touched upon the ongoing preparations for the upcoming OIF Summit in Yerevan. The Lebanese President reaffirmed his willingness to participate in the Summit and expressed conviction that it will be held at a high level.

The interlocutors attached importance to the role of the Lebanese Armenian community in terms of expanding bilateral ties. Michel Aoun emphasized that the Armenian community is playing an important role in his country and contributes to the development and progress of Lebanon.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a workshop, entitled Leaving No One Behind in an Age of Technological Revolution, hosted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at the UN headquarters. The participants discussed ways and possibilities for exchanging know-how and developing cooperation in the era of technological revolution.

Prime Minister Pashinyan stressed the need to develop and expand cooperation between Armenia and UNDP, consistently enhance partnerships in a bid to rebuild Armenia’s governance system, promote the reform process and exchange experience. The Premier said his government firmly determined to reorganize Armenia’s economy with a bias on the development of high technologies.

“Our objective is to turn Armenia from agrarian into a highly technological country by means of a technological breakthrough in the economy: this is one of our most important priorities,” Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that upon successful completion of the ongoing processes, the Government will implement drastic changes in the economy by boosting the role of newest technologies, improving the governance system and education.

The head of the Armenian government hailed the programs implemented by the UN Development Program in our country and expressed confidence that they will promote sustained development and progress in Armenia. The Premier made a point of tapping the country’s technological potential, realizing the existing opportunities, promoting and propagating innovative technological approaches among young people, enhancing investment opportunities and so on.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York. Discussed were various issues on the Armenian-Iranian cooperation agenda.

Highlighting the importance of economic cooperation, the parties noted that it lagged far behind the ongoing political dialogue between the two countries. They deemed it necessary to take effective steps to boost trade and economic ties and tap the existing potentialities.

Nikol Pashinyan underscored that the Armenian-Iranian relations are of special character and therefore, they should continue to develop on the basis of strong ties of friendship.

For his part, Hassan Rouhani noted that the two countries boast a high level of mutual trust. According to Iran’s President, the Armenian community is playing an important role in his country and enjoys great respect among the Iranians. Speaking about economic cooperation, Hassan Rouhani expressed confidence that the agreement on establishing a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union would help further deepen the Armenian-Iranian economic cooperation.

Nikol Pashinyan and Hassan Rouhani went over a broad range of issues, including cooperation in energy, road construction and logistics.

Hassan Rouhani invited Prime Minister Pashinyan to visit Iran and expressed confidence that the visit would result in a more in-depth discussion of ways of expanding bilateral cooperation.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered a speech at the 73rd session of UN General Assembly in New York. Below is the full text of Premier’s remarks.

“Distinguished President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to address you as a leader, who has recently become the Prime Minister of Armenia as a result of people’s revolution, which is now known as the Armenian Velvet revolution.

I would like to take a minute to share the story of our victory over the authoritarian rule. The people of Armenia succeeded in unpredicted and unprecedented revolution, without any violence, any victims or public disorder. And it was not a coincidence. Our intention was to make a revolution of love and solidarity.

From the very beginning, we declared that we ruled out any violence. We declared that, even if violence was used against us, we would not respond with violence. We declared that our response would be with raised and open hands, smile and love.

When we started this political process, there were only dozens of us marching from the second biggest city of Armenia, Gyumri to the capital Yerevan. When we reached Yerevan, and showed our determination and devotion to the principle of non violence, our entire nation rose against the ruling regime, in unity and solidarity. And we won without a single shot and without any victims only through the peaceful demonstrations.

We succeeded against all expectations: even well-known experts and think-tanks were skeptical about our victory.

Against all odds, I was elected Prime Minister. I was elected in a Parliament, where I had only four reliable votes, including my own. Yet it was possible. It happened, because people were firm in their demand and the parliament, elected just a year ago, had no other choice than to follow the people’s will.

Today, that parliament continues to work, however it does not represent our people’s will, as it was not before and during the revolution. Why is it so? The answer is short. Because it was elected through the elections with massive vote buying process and use of administrative resources and oppression.

An important test for holding genuinely free and fair and competitive elections was the Yerevan city council election which took place just before my departure to New York. The fact that all the candidates for the first time since Armenia’s independence congratulated the winning candidate, speaks about the establishment of a completely new political culture in Armenia.

In the same spirit, we are now getting ready for snap parliamentary elections in Armenia. Free, fair and transparent elections will become an irreversible reality in Armenia and will bring strong and vibrant democratic institutions, the functioning system of checks and balances.

Protecting our citizens’ rights and ensuring freedom of speech, expression and assembly is very high on our government’s agenda. From now on, there will be no possibility to manipulate the electoral process and undermine the trust of citizens.

I would also like to stress that the current situation in Armenia is not just a change of a government or a ruling party. It is an establishment of a new political and governance system, which we name people’s direct rule and people’s direct governance.

In order to institutionalize this system we intend to guarantee expression of the people’s will not only through elections, but also through local and national referenda, to engage our people into the decision-making process. Having been a political prisoner myself, I do understand how significant it is to be able to speak out and decide your own future.

Having assumed the responsibility, our team has a clear vision and strong political will to launch fundamental reforms aimed at eradicating corruption, creating transparent, accountable and efficient governance, safeguarding human rights and the rule of law, ensuring independence of judiciary and advancing economic growth through a free and competitive business environment and a favorable atmosphere for investments.

Madame President,

Despite the radical transformations in the internal political life, our foreign policy agenda does not have U-turns. The continuity of Armenia’s foreign policy depicts Armenia as a predictable and reliable partner.

Our international commitments are not subject to revision. Our position is clear - Armenia stands ready to have a constructive dialogue and cooperation with all partners. However, we do not intend to develop our relations with one partner at the expense of another. We underline the role of multilateralism on global and regional levels.

Armenia’s cooperation under the umbrella of the United Nations is both comprehensive and vibrant. Without entering into all the details, let me mention our contribution to the global peace under the auspices of the UN led and UN supported peace operations in an impressive geographical scope that extends from Afghanistan to Lebanon, Kosovo and Mali.

This has a particular importance to our country: while facing serious security concerns, it realizes that the security of one country is inseparably linked to that of all others, and that the global peace requires concerted actions.

We have a truly global nation with hundreds of communities all around the world. Hence comes the sensitivity of Armenia to the global threats that may put our fellow Armenians at risk in different parts of the world.

The sizable Armenian community in Syria faces an existential threat from the ongoing crisis. Armenia has tried to contribute through dispatching humanitarian assistance to most vulnerable regions.

We stand ready to enhance Armenia’s humanitarian mission aimed at meeting the most pressing needs of our community in Syria. As a nation that has passed through the horrors of Genocide, Armenians have higher security consciousness when it comes to our fellow people and are ready to do their utmost for their protection.
Madame President,

The peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict continues to prevail on our foreign policy agenda. The status and security of the Republic of Artsakh is an absolute priority of the Republic of Armenia in the negotiation process.

Any attempt to resolve the conflict through military means represents a direct threat to the regional security, democracy and human rights.

Armenia will continue its constructive engagement in the peaceful resolution of the conflict within the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which has the only internationally recognized mandate to deal with the conflict.

Azerbaijan should change its behavior of disrespect towards the negotiations and abandon the idea of any military solution and implement all the previous agreements. Furthermore, if Azerbaijan is truly committed to the peace process it should start talking to the main subject of this conflict – Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan declares on every occasion that Karabakh should be a part of its territory. At the same time it announces that it will not negotiate with Nagorno Karabakh. The question is how Azerbaijan can make a claim over Nagorno-Karabakh without even speaking to NK? Is that possible? This is possible only if Azerbaijani government wants the territory and not the people.

Thus, it becomes obvious that the intention of Azerbaijani leadership is to cleanse Armenians from Karabakh, like they did in Nakhijevan. This entitles Nagorno-Karabakh to make the argument, that to be a part of Azerbaijan for Karabakh means to be totally exterminated. Hence Karabakh must not be a part of Azerbaijan, unless one wants to trigger a new genocide of Armenian people.

Summing up, let me reiterate: the conflict can and should be settled only through mutual compromises by all sides, in an atmosphere conducive to peace and not war.

Last but not least; let me also express my satisfaction to the Secretary General of the United Nations for his unwavering support to the efforts and approaches of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship

Madame President,

The topic of our deliberations “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies” demonstrates our consistent approach to the Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals. Indeed, the United Nations and its Development Agenda should be relevant and accessible for all. No one should be left behind as we keep repeating in our collective efforts.

Earlier in July this year, Armenia presented its first Voluntary National Report on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the High Level Political Forum. This important exercise coincided with the decisive political period determined by vibrant democratic processes and the launch of a wide-range of reforms.

Armenia is committed to the creation and development of knowledge-based and innovative platforms that will leverage the impact and accelerate the implementation of the development agenda. In this regard, we recognize the indispensable role of the UN and its specialized agencies as well as the role of the cooperation with other potential partners. As a newly-elected member of the ECOSOC, Armenia will contribute to the inclusive and sustainable growth

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2018 is the year when we will mark the 70th anniversary of two of the most important human rights documents - the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Each of these documents has its own history and each of them has become a cornerstone for the development of international law.

They served as a basis for Armenia to start the series of Global Forum Sessions against the Crime of Genocide. This year it will be dedicated to the issues of genocide prevention through education, culture and museums. I encourage you to bring your contribution to the work of the Forum.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mesdames et Monsieurs;

«Vivre ensemble» est le thème du 17ème Sommet de l'Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie qui va se tenir en octobre prochain à Erevan, Capitale arménienne, âgée de deux-mille-huit-cents ans. C’est un grand honneur et un privilège pour l’Arménie de faire partie de la grande famille francophone, de promouvoir la tolérance et le respect mutuel à travers la coopération dans le domaine de la culture, de l’éducation et de l’innovation. Je réitère une nouvelle fois nos invitations au Sommet de la Francophonie avec plusieurs manifestations prévues dans le même cadre.

Thank you.”

Prime Minister Pashinyan has also attended high-level discussions on peacekeeping operations at the UN Headquarters.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had working breakfast with Joseph Brandt, Chief Executive Director of Contour Global international power engineering company. Discussed were the activities of Contour Global Hydro Cascade office in Armenia and Contour Global’s investment portfolio. Note that Contour Global is the largest U.S. investor in our country.

The parties stressed the importance of effective bilateral cooperation as a pledge for successful implementation of joint projects in the future.

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