NEW YORK (A.W)—The 25th anniversary of Armenia’s membership to the United Nations (UN) was celebrated in a special concert at New York’s Lincoln Center on March 16.
UN Secretary General António Guterres, Armenian Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nalbandian, several heads of UN missions, and representatives of the Armenian community attended the concert featuring prominent Armenian musicians Jivan Gasparyan Jr., Armen Hyusnunts, Artyom Manukyan, Vardan Ovsepian, Karen Kocharyan, as well as “Hover” State Chamber Choir (artistic director Sona Hovhannisyan).
During the event, Minister Nalbandian addressed the attendees. His message can be read in its entirety below.
Honorable Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a distinct pleasure to address you on the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s membership in the United Nations. I highly appreciate the presence of Secretary General here with us today. I also would like to thank all those who have contributed to the organization of this concert and all of you who join us for the celebration of this festive occasion.
A quarter of a century ago Armenia was embraced by the community of sovereign states. It was the dream of many generations of Armenians scattered around the world that came to reality. I am glad to see here today many of those who stood by the newly emerging state and I would like to take this opportunity to once again acknowledge their indispensable contribution.
Needless to emphasize the whole significance of this day. It is not just the symbolism that matters. It is not about the status but the hope and vision for a peaceful and prosperous future, that rests in the foundations of the United Nations, that inspires to a common journey towards a better world free of wars, conflicts and dividing lines.
Armenia, as I believe numerous nations before us and many after, joined the United Nations with these aspirations and goals.
Armenia acceded to the family of nations during challenging times of its history but that has never diminished our resolve and commitment to the building of a society that fully adheres to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. We remain guided by the UN Charter that calls to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
It is a solemn duty of all states, ascribed through their accession, to ensure the full and unhindered application of these commitments. Armenia strictly adheres to its obligations in this regard, including in its efforts to ensure an exclusively peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) conflict.
These commitments also form the central pillar of Armenia’s engagement within the UN framework. First and foremost it refers to our dedication to the UN prevention agenda.
As a nation who passed through the horrors of the genocide we feel a moral obligation but also an authority to speak out against recurrence of crimes against humanity.
Armenia also contributes to the world peace in a most direct way through participating in a number of peace operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mali.
We joined international concerted efforts aimed at countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating terrorism and addressing refugee crisis.
From Syria alone, about 22,000 refugees sought shelter in Armenia, on per capita basis making our country the third largest recipient of Syrian refugees in Europe.
Our country does its best to contribute to promotion of tolerance and intercultural, interfaith dialogue, combating racism, hate speech and xenophobia.
I would also like to emphasize that it is not just the list of endeavors but rather the hard work, dedicated efforts, and unreserved commitment that define the full depth of multifaceted activities of Armenia within the UN framework during the past 25 years.
As we embark on the next chapter of our collective journey, I would like to reiterate Armenia’s unwavering support to the strong and effective global leadership of the United Nations that translates international obligations and commitments into tangible actions, builds bridges between peoples and eliminates dividing lines, promotes good neighborly relations, peace and prosperity worldwide.