The 5th pan-Armenian forum of journalists took place in the Culture and Youth Palace of Stepanakert from October 12-16, as part of the “One Nation, One Culture” festival. The conference entitled “Challenges of the 21st Century: Information Security and Armenian journalism” was organized by the RA Diaspora Ministry, Pan-Armenian Media Association and the Union of Journalists of Armenia. 200 Armenian journalists from 26 countries participated in the forum. Opening speeches were made by NKR President Bako Sahakyan and RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian. Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Parkev Martirossian delivered the pontifical blessing of the Catholicos of All-Armenians Karekin II. The participants of the forum emphasized the importance of a united ideological and national stance of Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora in pan-Armenian issues. Calling on all the Armenian journalists RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian said in her speech “being multi-sided and diverse in your opinions, I ask you to be united and to display joint standing in pan-Armenian issues such as the just solution of the Karabakh conflict, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the development and strengthening of Armenia and Artsakh, the preservation of the Armenian language and culture and unification around the Armenian Church”. Emphasizing the important role of the Armenian journalists in the information war the Minister called on everyone “to come out of the defensive positions and attack”. The delegation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s media representatives in the face of Hampig Mardirossian, Editor-in-Chief of AGBU “Khosnag” magazine of Lebanon, Hovig Eordekian, representative of AGBU “Husharar” magazine of the USA, and Vartan Tsulikian, representative of “AGBU Armenia Newsletter” participated in the forum. Hampig Mardirossian delivered a speech called “The current condition and key issues of the Diaspora press”, touching upon such important issues as the challenges threatening our language and culture in the current conditions of globalization, the difficulties faced by the Armenian media. He called on all the journalists of Armenia, Diaspora and Artsakh to deepen cooperation with each other. The participants of the forum also raised issues regarding the joint stance in all-Armenian issues, the struggle against the Azeri misinformation, the current stage of the Artsakh conflict, international recognition of NKR, the current condition of the Armenian press, freedom of press and information, mutual tolerance, Armenian propaganda in foreign press, struggle against anti-Armenian propaganda, development of free and informed society, strengthening of independent media in Artsakh, cooperation between YSU Department of Journalism and the Diasporan media, etc. Representatives of Armenian printed and electronic media of Los Angeles, Beirut and Dubai also had the chance to participate in the forum through live video calls. The speeches were followed by active discussions and exchange of ideas and thoughts. Before starting the 3-day forum the journalists laid flowers at the memorial to the Artsakh liberation war victims. Editor-in-chief of AGBU “Khosnag” magazine Hampig Mardirossian performed an Armenian Church psalm at the tombs of our heroes. Armenian journalists had meetings with NKR Defense Minister Movses Hakobian and NKR Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulyan, attended the concert of local artists and dance groups and the AGBU-funded Artsakh Chamber Orchestra, visited Shushi, Gandzasar, Tigranakert and a tank military unit. Concluding the forum RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian expressed her gratitude and satisfaction about the productive process of the forum and stated that it contributed greatly to the establishment of direct close ties between the Armenian journalists from different parts of the world, exchange of thoughts on various pan-Armenian issues and development of cooperation. The 5th pan-Armenian forum of journalists finished its work with the formation of a Coordinating Council and issuance of a joint statement. On October 16, on their way back to Yerevan, the participants of the forum met with RA President Serzh Sargsyan in Goris, who delivered a speech congratulating the journalists on the occasion of the Armenian Press Day, celebrated on October 16 in Armenia since 2004. President Sargsyan also kindly answered all the questions raised by the journalists.



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