Greeting the members of the newly established council, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan attached importance to the activities of the council in terms of enhancing public relations. The Minister stated all the large pan-Armenian organizations and the individuals one by one and highly appreciated their pro-national activities, as well as their participation in the solution to the issues related to the Armenia-Diaspora partnership. The Minister presented the agenda to be approved by the Public Council and the working plan for the year 2016.

Chief of Staff of the RA Ministry of Diaspora Firdus Zakaryan presented the working procedure for the Public Council adjunct to the RA Minister of Diaspora.

During the discussion, Zakaryan delivered a report on the major programs of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia for this year. Zakaryan stated the following: “The government has allocated AMD 750 million from the State Budget for the implementation of the programs of the RA Ministry of Diaspora, of which 120 million is for the “Diaspora” Summer School Program, 100 million is for the “Ari Tun” Program, another 100 million is for the publication of academic and educational books and materials, 84 million is for the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival, 23 million is for the organizing of forums and conferences, etc. The Ministry of Diaspora will also be holding regional programs supporting education and culture. This year, the Ministry will also continue the already traditional “Our Greats” Program and will hold the Pan-Armenian Awards.”

The participants of the session also watched a video devoted to the programs and projects carried out by the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Head of the Department of Armenian Communities of the Near East and Middle East at the RA Ministry of Diaspora Levon Antonyan delivered a report on the activities for Syrian-Armenians.

The Minister attached importance to the efforts aimed at helping Syrian-Armenians integrate and stated the following: “During my working visit to the United States of America, in New York I had meetings with Deputy to the Special Advisor of the United Nations Secretary General for Refugees and Migrants Fabrizio Hochschild and Director of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in New York Ninette Kelley, and I must tell you that they were content with the efforts that Armenia has made to solve the issues of the Syrian-Armenians. Armenia is considered the best example of a country that receives refugees. Armenia will be presented as a positive example during the session of the United Nations General Assembly. We need to continue to work more effectively in the same format. Syrian-Armenians have become full-fledged members of Armenian society, and we need to use their knowledge, skills and potential for Armenia’s development and in order to overcome the country’s social and economic issues.”

At the end, the Minister answered questions from the members of the Public Council and expressed satisfaction with the results of the current activities. The Minister also urged them to collaborate more closely and effectively in order to solve the challenges facing the Homeland.

Member of the public council adjunct to RA Minister of Diaspora, AGBU Armenia Deputy director Hovig Eordekian emphasized the importance of the youth programs carried out by the RA Ministry of Diaspora, the works and efforts carried out for Syrian-Armenian Relief projects, as well as the publication activities of the Ministry.