Nikol Pashinyan: “Hayastan All-Armenian Fund should become our national budget”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the 28th regular meeting of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Board of Trustees. Addressing the audience, the Prime Minister said:
“Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Honorable President of the Republic of Artsakh,
Very Reverend religious fathers,
Honorable Board of Trustees members,
I welcome you to the regular meeting of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Board of Trustees. Perhaps, every Armenian is emotionally affiliated with the Fund as one only has to travel across Armenia and Artsakh to see the emblems of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund on the roads and realize that numerous schools, kindergartens, water-mains have been built and rehabilitated with the Fund’s support in Armenia and Artsakh.
I consider it worth emphasizing that Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has been implementing a truly important mission in the Third Republic of Armenia and in Artsakh by providing badly needed support. I agree with the President of Armenia that we have to take a fresh look at and reassess the activities of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
I recently heard some interesting comments, including from representatives of the Diaspora, which I would like to share with you. Highly appreciative of the activities of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, people sometimes say that specific episodes of the Fund’s activities have resulted in the demystification of Armenia or the global potential of Armenians. I mean that while speaking about the Armenian potential, we, the Armenians and others as well understand a very powerful, very influential force, and this is the case indeed. Then let us see how could the Fund’s activity affect the understanding of our national potential and image?
We are enthusiastic to see 15, 10, 20, 25 million dollars raised during nationwide fundraising events initiated by Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, and this is important and valuable indeed. But let us understand the way it is interpreted by others. After all, others can wonder whether 15 million dollars is all we can raise nationwide all over the world and be happy about it.
Here, I would like to stress that the well-known forces spend billions of dollars every year to counter the Armenian influence around the world. Sometimes we appear to be the one to undermine the Armenian potential; we ourselves do much more to downgrade our national image.
Of course, we know that Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is not the only source of investment in Armenia. There are dozens of other organizations in both Armenia and the Diaspora providing invaluable assistance, which I am sure will continue to support Armenia and Artsakh. But I do believe that besides looking at the depth of what is happening, we ought to note the way it manifests itself and is perceived beyond the Armenian World. I feel that the time has come for us to put these questions on the agenda and be fairly outspoken on the problem.
It is obvious that during this time we had a lot of problems. We had problems with corruption, there may have been abuses. Of course, we will do everything to curb it, but this is a common cause. Of course, it goes without saying that we have faced some problems with the programs. The programs should be such as to inspire as many people as possible. Our programs should have more impact and implications: any newly build road should be conducive to development, new life, and new opportunities for more people.
The philosophical question is that as a nation, we have to change the attitude towards this process. In some ways, Hayastan All-Armenian Fund should not be perceived as a tool for implementing individual programs, instead it ought to become our national budget. We have to think about having a national budget, and we have to change our attitude towards that nationwide budget.
A key vector of our government’s activity is that we want to change the citizens’ understanding of their fiscal liabilities so that each citizen could realize that by making a contribution to the treasury they do not give their money away to someone else, but to themselves. In other words, every citizen of the Republic of Armenia should realize that the state budget expenditures return to themselves. Of course, this ideology is to be implemented by those who spend public money - the Government in the case of the state budget, and the executive body, the Board of Trustees for Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
I mean that the question is not the money at all, but the philosophy which should evidence that the Armenians worldwide are standing by their Homeland and the Diaspora.
Yes, the tasks set for the 20th century have been resolved, but we have to take into account that challenges are becoming more serious and exacerbated, we need to find adequate responses, because everything, including the presidents, the prime ministers and the governments are transient, while the nation and the homeland are eternal. We must be the guardians of the eternity of our homeland and our nation.
To my mind, this understanding of the problem may change the essence and the content of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s activities, and I am convinced that we have the necessary will, the necessary unity, the required skills and wisdom to promote our all-national goals for the sake of our homeland and our people. Thank you.”