Nikol Pashinyan: “Aurora has become our Nobel Peace Prize”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Mrs. Anna Hakobyan today attended the Aurora Prize award ceremony at Liberty Square in Yerevan.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. He stated, in part:
“Aurora Initiative Co-Founders Vartan Gregorian, Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan,
Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Chair Tom Catena,
Selection Committee members,
Aurora Forum Goodwill Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honor for me to address you from this podium and greet all the participants of the Aurora Award Ceremony. The Aurora Initiative is doing a great and important mission, and I am glad to see you all at Liberty Square in Yerevan and tell our guests “Welcome to Armenia.” I would also like to congratulate us all on the occasion of Aurora Forum Week in Armenia and welcome all the participants and organizers of this wonderful event.
I am aware that many interesting discussions have been held as part of the Forum, ranging from artificial intelligence to cultural heritage preservation, education development and various humanitarian activities. We appreciate those discussions as they will add relish to intellectual and cultural life in Armenia, and will help shape our vision of the future.
The Aurora Initiative has earned its own place in our lives. We can proudly say that Aurora has received a worldwide recognition. It is playing an important role in enhancing the image and popularity of the Armenian people throughout the world.
Meant as a way to perpetuate the memory of the Armenian Genocide innocent victims, the Aurora Initiative promotes humanism, peace and continued dedication to serving human progress.
Aurora is our people’s unique contribution to the cause of disseminating and empowering the noble ideas of human rights and humanism across the globe. Let me call it the Armenian Nobel Peace Prize.
Unfortunately, conflicts and wars are commonplace in modern world, and the Aurora Prize is one of the tools that prevent human tragedies and promote peace.
Aurora supports and honors people who ignore difficulties and dangers for the sake of human life, health, dignity, protection of rights and in the name of peace. And this is a peculiar manifestation of the biblical legend: peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called the sons of God.
I am pleased to welcome and congratulate the three humanists - the heroes of the Aurora Prize in 2019, whose exceptional work and mission is being honored here.
Congratulations and thanks to lawyer and human rights activist Huda Al-Sarari. Risking her life, the brave Yemeni woman uncovered an underground network of secret prisons operating in her country, which contained thousands of illegally arrested men and youths. I congratulate and express gratitude to Zannah Bukar Mustapha, Director and Founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation in Nigeria, who through his dedicated activities provides an opportunity of education and protects children from vulnerable households in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri. Ignoring all dangers, he was able to heroically save the lives of more than a hundred children captured by Islamic extremists.
And finally, I congratulate and thank today’s protagonist - 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate Mr. Mirza Dinnayi. As a co-founder and director of the Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge to Iraq), he helped move Yazidis from the barbarism of the Islamic State terrorist organization from Iraq to Germany, and helped them get medical assistance.
Mirza Dinnayi helped hundreds of women leave the territories controlled by the Islamic State. He personally helped them move to a safer place and supplied water and food to those kept isolation.
Mr. Dinnayi, we are grateful to you. What you have done for the friendly Yazidi people in Iraq really reminds us of the activities of Western missionaries and individuals who saved thousands of Armenians a hundred years ago during the Genocide. I thank you again on behalf of the Yazidi community of Armenia.
Unfortunately, many peoples in the Middle East have gone through ordeals in recent years, often finding themselves at the epicenter of tragic events. I am sorry that peace and stability have not yet won a final victory in this region.
However, the activities led by selfless people like you instill optimism and hopes for a sustainable future in the region. I wish you fortitude and inexhaustible energy to carry on this important humanistic mission.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank the organizers of today’s event and the initiators of the Aurora Prize, as well as all those behind this idea and initiative. I wish you every success and ever new achievements. Thank you for attention.”