Artsakh Newsletter, February-May 2004

OFFICE OF THE NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC IN THE USA
122 C Street, NW, Suite 360, Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: (202) 347-5166
Fax: (202) 347-5168
E-mail: [email protected]
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ARTSAKH NEWSLETTER
Vol. 6, no. 2
February – May 2004

The ARTSAKH NEWSLETTER is a publication of the NKR Office in Washington,
D.C., the official representation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the
United States.

In this issue…
1. LIBERATION OF SHUSHI, VICTORY AND NKR ARMY DAY MARKED IN ARTSAKH
2. PRESIDENT GHOUKASIAN’S MAY 9 MESSAGE
3. NAGORNO KARABAKH PEACE PROCESS
4. NK ECONOMY CONTINUES TO GROW
5. RESTORATION OF SHUSHI IS OF PAN-ARMENIAN IMPORTANCE
6. CHESS TOURNAMENT IN STEPANAKERT

1. LIBERATION OF SHUSHI, VICTORY AND NKR DEFENSE ARMY DAY MARKED IN ARTSAKH

May 9 marks a triple holiday in Nagorno Karabakh – Liberation of Shushi,
establishment of the Defense Army and the victory of the Allies in the
Second World War. Public celebrations and sport competitions took place
throughout Nagorno Karabakh, drawing large crowds of people.

On May 8, an official delegation from Armenia, headed by President Robert
Kocharian, arrived in Stepanakert to take part in the festivities. The
following morning, the Armenian delegation joined President Arkady
Ghoukasian and other senior officials in a wreath laying ceremony at the
monuments of the legendary Artsakh Liberation War hero Ashot “Bekor”
Ghoulian and Marshal of the Soviet Union Hovhannes Baghramian. The group
also visited the Memorial Complex to pay tribute to the soldiers killed
during the Artsakh War and Second World War.

The dignitaries visited Shushi, stopping on the way at the monument to the
first tank that led the way to Shushi’s liberation in 1992, and laid flowers
at the monument to the late Prime Minister of Armenia and Artsakh Hero,
Vazgen Sargsian.

That night, an open-air concert was held in Stepanakert with a special
performance by the units of the Defense Army. Popular singers and
performers from Armenia and Artsakh entertained a crowd of several thousand
people at the central Revival Square in Stepanakert. The concert was
followed by a spectacular fireworks show.

2. NKR PRESIDENT ARKADY GHOUKASIAN’S MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF NAGORNO
KARABAKH REPUBLIC (translated from Armenian)

On May 9, in connection with the holiday, NKR President Arkady Ghoukasian
issued a message to the people of the NKR, which, in particular, reads:

May 9 is a great holiday for our country. This day has always been dear to
our nation. Not very long ago, on May 9 we celebrated the victory of our
common Motherland against fascist Germany in the Great Patriotic War, a war
where every second soldier from Artsakh was killed. However, 12 years ago
May 9 acquired a special meaning for us, becoming distinctly significant for
the Armenians of Artsakh. On this day Shushi was liberated and again became
Armenian, as it should be. Shushi was liberated by the NKR Defense Army,
which surprised the world with its valor and military efficiency. On May 9
the Army also celebrates the day of its creation. Thanks to the successfully
conducted Shushi operation, the “Road of Life” to mother-Armenia was opened,
which saved the Artsakh people from the threat of full physical
annihilation. This is the historical importance of the liberation of Shushi.

It is very symbolic that we celebrate these three holidays on the same day.
This coincidence symbolizes the succession of generations. The glorious
military traditions of our grandfathers and fathers, who worked miracles of
courage and valor during World War II, were duly continued by the new
generation of the people of Artsakh, who obtained and defended the freedom
and independence of Artsakh in the battles against the enemy, which greatly
surpassed them in number and arm. Eternal memory to all those who perished
for the happy future of Artsakh! The duty of the living is not to let the
blood shed by them be in vain. Glory to our war veterans! The government
will continue paying great attention to their needs and problems.

The NKR Defense Army, formed in the furnace of the struggle for
independence, remains the most reliable guarantor of the security of the
Nagorno Karabakh Republic and its people. Today, when Azerbaijan tries to
hinder the course of history, cherishing revanchist hopes to solve the
Karabakh problem by force, we have no right to weaken the military
construction; we must equip the army with most modern weapons, and increase
its fighting skills.

At the same time, I restate with full responsibility that the NKR Defense
Army is an army of peace. Its priority was and remains the defense of
Nagorno Karabakh and its population from external aggression. I assure you
that our army is ready to properly repulse the enemy if it dares to violate
our peaceful life and encroach upon our independence.

Dear compatriots, these May holidays coincide with another important date:
10 years ago Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia signed an agreement to
cease-fire in the area of the Karabakh conflict. At that time, Azerbaijan
had to recognize Nagorno Karabakh as a party to the conflict and signed the
armistice only due to the success of our army. And the merit that the
cease-fire regime has held belongs first of all to the strength and power of
the NKR Defense Army, which defends our motherland. That’s why our army is
one of the most efficient guarantees of maintaining the peaceful process of
the settlement of the conflict with Azerbaijan. I would like to assure you
that the NKR leadership remains committed to the peaceful settlement,
considering it to be without alternatives in the solution of the Nagorno
Karabakh problem.

My congratulations to you on the Day of our common Victory, dear people of
Artsakh! I wish all of us peace, prosperity and happiness!”

3. NAGORNO KARABAKH PEACE PROCESS

On April 28 Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Robert Kocharian and Ilham
Aliyev met for the second time in recent months in an attempt to revive
negotiations on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Both presidents characterized
the meeting that took place on the sidelines of the European Economic Forum
in Warsaw, as ‘very constructive’ and agreed to continue the dialogue. The
French, Russian and US Co-Chairmen of the Organization of Security and
Cooperation of Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group joined the first part of the
meeting, leaving the leaders to negotiate one-on-one for the remainder of
the talks.

The newly appointed U.S. Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Steven Mann,
who replaced Rudolf Perina, also characterized the meetings as very useful.
On his visit to Armenia in early May, Mann met Armenian and NKR leaders and
voiced the U.S. government’s support for continuing the peace process within
the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, saying that the peaceful settlement
of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict was in the national interests of the United
States. He also said that he intended to visit Stepanakert during his next
visit to the region.

In related news, on February 23 the Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Nagorno Karabakh Terry Davis visited
Stepanakert for the first time with a fact-finding mission. He met Nagorno
Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukasian, the National Assembly Chairman Oleg
Yesayan and other senior government officials. On March 17 President
Ghoukasian met with an OSCE delegation headed by the organization’s
Chairman-in-Office, Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister Solomon Passy. The
president underlined the necessity of NKR’s participation in the negotiation
process and called on Passy to create conditions for direct talks between
Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan. For his part, Passy pointed out the
necessity of restarting negotiations among the involved parties and also
noted that as the current Chairman of OSCE he will make every effort to
achieve it.

4. NAGORNO KARABAKH’S GDP GREW 20% in 2003

At a recent cabinet meeting NKR Prime Minister Anoushavan Danielian
announced that the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached 20
percent, while the exports amounted to $14 million. He said that the growth
was due to the government’s decision to attract investors with significant
tax incentives, market liberalization and elimination of monopolies. Since
its introduction in 2000, the policy has had a great impact on the level of
foreign investments and on the state of economy as a whole. Businessmen
from Armenia, Australia, Great Britain, Iran, Lebanon, Monaco, Russia,
Switzerland, United States have already invested in NK’ s economy, bringing
in around $40 million. The investments of Karabakh Telecom company
(Lebanon), for example, have already reached $10 million, while the tourism
industry is being developed by Australian, Iranian and American investors.

Foreign investments impact positively on the development of Karabakh’s
industry. As a result, in 2000, industrial growth amounted to 17 %, in 2001
it reached 22 %, in 2002 – 36 %, and in 2003 – 44 %. Danielian mentioned
the Drmbon copper and gold mines as well as Martuni and Karmir Shuka wine
distilleries as examples of successful businesses. Currently, about 18
business proposals, mainly in the energy sector, are awaiting investments.
The Prime Minister hopes that in the near future NKR will be able to export
energy.

According to the National Statistics Service, a similar level of economic
growth was registered in the first quarter of this year. In January-March
2004, the volume of the gross domestic product (GDP) made 6.1 billion drams
($11m, $1 = 550 drams) having grown by 23%.

Nagorno Karabakh’s industrial output reached 3.8 billion drams ($6.9m) in
the same period, having increased by almost 70% as compared with 2003. The
volumes of realized production made 3.2 billion drams ($5.8m), and the
volume of production of consumer goods made 1.4 billion ($2.5m) drams
instead of 1 billion ($1.8m) last year.

The volume of agricultural production made 1.4 billion drams ($2.5m) in the
same period with an 8% increase over 2003. The average salary is 36,170
drams ($66), having increased by 14% compared with the last year’s average.
In January-March 2004, the volume of foreign trade turnover made 14.7
billion drams ($26.8m), having increased by 44% compared to the same period
of last year.

5. NKR PM: RESTORATION OF SHUSHI IS OF PAN-ARMENIAN IMPORTANCE

Given Shushi’s historical and cultural value, the restoration and
repopulation of the town must become a priority for Armenians around the
world. NKR Prime Minister Anoushavan Danielian proposed to organize a
Pan-Armenian conference with the aim of turning Shushi into a cultural and
tourist center of the South Caucasus – a status the town enjoyed until early
1900s.

Shushi was significantly damaged during the Karabakh war in 1991-1994.
Taking advantage of its commanding position over Stepanakert, the capital of
Nagorno Karabakh, after expelling its Armenian population, Azeris turned
Shushi into a launching pad for artillery attacks. Karabakh Armenian forces
reclaimed control over Shushi in May 1992.

Prime Minister Danielian says, if given a priority, Shushi can be restored
within 5 years.

6. KARABAKH HOSTS CHESS TOURNAMENT (By Emil Sanamian, AAA)

A first major international sporting event concluded this week in
Stepanakert amid largely unsuccessful efforts by Azerbaijan to undermine it.
The Tigran Petrosian memorial tournament brought together some of the
strongest chess players from Armenia, Latvia, Georgia, Iran, Poland, Russia
and Switzerland. Petrosian, an Armenia native, was the world champion for
much of the 1960s, before being defeated by Boris Spassky. Spassky, now a
French national and retired from the game, was the guest of honor at the
Stepanakert tournament.

Chairman of the International Chess Federation, FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
sent a letter welcoming the competition as contributing to the ‘unique
Armenian chess culture.’ One of the world’s strongest chess players, Garry
Kasparov, welcomed the selection of Stepanakert as the site for the
tournament as another confirmation that Karabakh has overcome the difficult
post-war legacy. Kasparov, whose mother is an ethnic Armenian, was forced to
flee anti-Armenian violence in his native Baku in 1990.

The Azerbaijani government put pressure on chess federations of
participating nationals to recall their players and judges, claiming that
their participation was ‘illegal.’ Two players, a Georgian and Iranian were
forced to withdraw towards the end of the tournament, which Spassky
described as a ‘real chess celebration.’

In the end, Armenia’s Karen Asriyan narrowly won the hard-fought series with
six out of nine possible points. Bartlomiej Macieja of Poland was a close
second with 5.5 points and Gabriel Sargsian of Armenia was third with 5
points.

* * *

The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is based in
Washington, DC and works with the U.S. government, academia and the public
representing the official policies and interests of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic.

This material is distributed by the office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
in the USA on behalf of the government of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
The office is registered with the U.S. government under the Foreign Agent
Registration Act. Additional information is available at the Department of
Justice, Washington, D.C.

www.nkrusa.org

OSCE: Prague Conference Aims To Build Business Climate In CentralAsi

Radio Free Europe, Czech Republic
May 28 2004

OSCE: Prague Conference Aims To Build Business Climate In Central
Asia, Caucasus
By Breffni O’Rourke

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is
holding a key conference in Prague (31 May-4 June) which aims to help
its Eastern member states develop an economic climate where business
and private enterprise flourish. The five-day OSCE Economic Forum
is the culmination of a series preparatory meetings held mostly in
Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

Prague, 28 May 2004 (RFE/RL) — Building a house is a complicated
task. You need the raw materials like timber, clay, and stone. You
need skilled workmen to turn the raw material into usable components
like bricks and window frames.

You need more workmen to build the structure. And then you need someone
who can visualize the size and layout of the building so that it fits
its purpose.

And under all that, you need a solid foundation so that the whole thing
will not fall down.The OSCE calls for clear laws and regulations on
property rights, including land ownership, as well as on taxation,
curbing corruption, and improving companies’ access to financing.

One could say that building a house has many similarities to
constructing a successful business environment. At least in that
a properly functioning structure in both cases depends on the
interlocking of many different components.

Just as a house without a roof is useless, so is a business opportunity
without entrepreneurs to exploit it.

With this in mind, the OSCE is holding its annual Economic Forum in
the Czech capital Prague to help bring together the many ingredients of
a successful business climate. The Central Asian states and the South
Caucasus republics will be represented, as will the Balkan countries.

OSCE Economic Adviser Gabriel Leonte says high-level government
officials will be there, but others besides.

“This is not only a meeting for government officials,” he said. “We
have invited also regional organizations, and international
organizations. Also the business sector and the civil society is
invited to participate, as well as the academic community — because
the OSCE believes strongly that this issue can best be addressed if
all the stakeholders cooperate and work together.”

The 55-nation OSCE acts as a partner with the local business
communities. At the Prague forum it is particularly emphasizing the
need to build what it calls the “institutional and human capacity
for economic development.” In other words, framing laws which help
business, as well as training people — especially young people —
to think in business terms.

In its introductory paper to the forum, the OSCE says it “can promote
economic empowerment of men, women and youth” by providing information
and training. It urges the authorities in member states to improve the
working environment for small and medium-size businesses — enterprises
which are considered the backbone of the business environment.

The OSCE calls for clear laws and regulations on property rights,
including land ownership, as well as on taxation, curbing corruption,
and improving companies’ access to financing.

At present, local business people can find the path to profits a
difficult one. And as for Central Asia, some countries there have come
in for severe criticism from Westerners who have invested heavily, but
found their enterprises beset by difficulties, including disagreements
over taxation.

The OSCE’s Leonte agrees there are shortcomings.

“All the statistics indicate that these countries [in Central Asia]
still have to do a lot of things in order to perform better, and to
develop the business environment, in order to attract investment and
develop grass-roots initiative.”

The OSCE says a good financial infrastructure is a key element in
encouraging economic activity across the board. Access to financing
is often vital for business people with bright ideas, but no start-up
capital. The problem is the regular banking system is often reluctant
to get involved in offering microloans, because of the small returns
they generate and the risk factor.

With this in mind, the OSCE says it can offer to others its experience
in Kazakhstan, where with local partners it made a national assessment
of the “microcredit” industry, meaning the availability of small
loans for small businesses.

The OSCE will also offer at the forum the expertise gained by its
office in Yerevan, Armenia, on developing the Armenian Chamber of
Commerce and Industry. Chambers of commerce provide companies with
a useful source of information and contacts at home and abroad. The
project in Yerevan was carried out last year with the help of the
International Chamber of Commerce and strengthened the ability of
the local chamber to provide effective services to its members.

As to engaging young people, the OSCE has a program called YES —
Young Entrepreneurship Seminars — which it says is an idea which
could well be extended further. Under that program, summer camps for
young people on economic themes have been held in Tajikistan.

The Prague Economic Forum will also be discussing regional integration,
in the light of the European Union’s success in raising living
standards.

OSCE adviser Leonte notes the link between economic well-being and
security.

“The OSCE is not a development agency. We are a security organization
and we recognize that the lack of economic development might pose
some threats to security in the broader sense. And therefore we try to
work with governments and civil society and with other international
organizations involved in these countries to assist them to do better.”

The Economic Forum is being held at the Czech Foreign Ministry and
runs until 4 June. More information about the forum can be found at

http://www.osce.org/events/conferences/twelfth_economic_forum/

Western Press Review: Putin’s Speech, NATO’s Black Sea Interests

Radio Free Europe, Czech Republic
May 28 2004

Western Press Review: Putin’s Speech, NATO’s Black Sea Interests,
Prosecuting Wartime Abuses, The Arab Summit
By Khatya Chhor

Prague, 28 May 2004 (RFE/RL) — Among the topics being discussed
in the media today are Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first
formal address this week since winning a second term; refocusing NATO
attention on the Black Sea-South Caucasus region; determining command
responsibility for crimes committed in wartime; events in Iraq, as
preparations continue for the 30 June handover of power; and this
week’s summit meeting of Arab leaders in Tunis, among other issues.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first formal address to the
Federal Assembly (both legislative bodies) since his reelection in
March is the topic of an editorial today in New York’s leading daily.
The Kremlin head’s words this week (26 May) showed “the real, core
[Putin], not a rookie [or] a shaky politician looking for votes. The
speech was the program of a man very much in charge of Russia. Too
much, in fact,” the paper remarks dryly.

Putin’s main theme was his commitment to tackle the tough economic
problems — including housing, health care, education, and jobs — that
affect every Russian family. And while such pledges are not original,
Putin is “serious,” the paper says. “His enormous popularity among
Russians comes largely from his success in bringing stability and
growth to a chaotic land.” Aided by high oil prices, Putin has made
“impressive progress in reforming the decrepit economic institutions
he inherited.”

Yet despite the welcome promises of economic reform, “The New York
Times” says it was Putin’s “Soviet echoes” that reverberated most
loudly through the great Marble Hall of the Kremlin. The most chilling
was Putin’s denunciation of civil associations that have been critical
of his government and his swipe at Western critics, whom he accused
of trying to prevent Russia from being strong and free.”

Such comments are reminders of a time when the Kremlin assumed
“that economic growth and national security require an all-powerful,
centralized state apparatus.”

The paper writes: “The longing of the Russians for a measure
of security is understandable. But it is imperative that Putin be
reminded at every turn not to confuse the laudable goal of improving
the lives of the Russians with a restoration of the authoritarian,
centralized rule that destroyed their lives to begin with.”

WASHINGTON POST

A joint contribution today by James Dobbins of the Rand Corporation
and Philip Gordon of the Brookings Institution says the United States
must soon make needed changes in its military strategy if it is to
stabilize Iraq.

“Reaching the goal of a stable, unified and non-threatening Iraq does
look increasingly difficult,” say the authors. But the withdrawal
of U.S. troops from Iraq would create a security vacuum “that would
quickly be filled by the most heavily armed and violent groups
in Iraq.” Iraq’s many different ethnic, religious, and cultural
communities “would probably struggle to establish control over
that country’s vast energy riches. Civil war, ethnic cleansing, and
genocide [would] be a likely result. Iraq’s neighbors — including
Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — would probably be drawn in,
supplying arms and money to their preferred factions.”

To achieve success in Iraq, the United States needs a major strategic
shift. “Henceforth, American forces cannot afford to destroy villages
to save them. They cannot afford to use artillery, gunships and
ordnance from fixed-wing aircraft in populated areas, regardless
of the provocation. They cannot afford to sacrifice innocent Iraqi
civilians to reduce American casualties. They cannot afford to sweep
up, incarcerate and hold for months thousands of Iraqis — many of them
innocent — to apprehend a smaller number of guilty ones. They cannot
afford to use pain, privation or humiliation to secure information.”

Dobbins and Gordon say an insurgency “cannot be defeated without the
support of the population.” And the United States will not receive
that support from the Iraq people “unless it puts public security at
the center of its military strategy.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE

Vladimir Socor of the Washington, D.C.-based Jamestown Foundation
says that at its upcoming (27-28 June) summit in Istanbul, “NATO can
celebrate a triumph.” Seven new members from the Baltic to the Black
Sea will attend the alliance summit as members. “This — along with
the previous accession round by three Central European countries —
represents the alliance’s greatest strategic, political and moral
victory in its 55-year history.”

But the alliance “cannot avoid addressing the issue of peacekeeping
and conflict resolution on its own vital strategic perimeter,” Socor
says. “Thirteen years after the end of the Soviet Union, peacekeeping
in this region remains in practice Moscow’s monopoly, which only
serves to freeze the political settlements of the conflicts.”

Two years ago, both NATO and the United States seemed ready
“to engage jointly with Russia in peace-support operations
and conflict-resolution efforts in Moldova, Georgia and the
Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. [However,] nothing further has been
heard about these intentions since those summits.”

Socor observes that U.S. “forces and resources are now overextended
worldwide.” Thus he suggests European nations should be ready “to
take the lead in peace-support operations and conflict settlement in
the Black Sea-South Caucasus region, Europe’s doorstep.”

The United States, NATO, and the European Union “have the strategic
and democratic motivations, as well as the means, to initiate a
transformation of peacekeeping and conflict resolution at this
crossroads, where the access routes to the Greater Middle East and
the energy transit routes to Europe intersect.” Socor says this “must
become a Euro-Atlantic priority.” June’s NATO summit agenda would be
“incomplete” if it did not indicate its readiness to address this
vital issue.

FINANCIAL TIMES

In a contribution to London’s leading financial daily, a former U.S.
ambassador-at-large for war crimes, David Scheffer, discusses the
difficulties of determining command responsibility for abuses committed
in wartime. In the wake of the Abu Ghurayb prison scandal in Iraq,
Scheffer looks at how the international war crimes tribunal in The
Hague has dealt with offenses committed during the Balkan wars of
the 1990s.

He says some of the same “[fundamental] questions of ‘responsibility'”
that arose from the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at the Trnopolje
Camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina are likely to be addressed in the Abu
Ghurayb investigation. Was there, from top U.S. administration
officials down to prison guards, a common intention to institute
practices prohibited by the Geneva Conventions? Who had de facto
control over the U.S. personnel and private contractors conducting
interrogations? And who had the authority “to subject detainees to
inhumane treatment?”

The Hague tribunal has, in recent years, determined “responsibility”
for abuses and the complicity of military and civilian leaders
“by asking whether the individual had superior responsibility for
subordinates, or was a co-perpetrator in a joint criminal enterprise,
or aided or abetted an atrocity by knowingly assisting or encouraging
it.”

The tribunal’s determination of command responsibility rests on whether
“there was a superior-subordinate relationship where the accused had
‘effective control’ over the perpetrator. Such control should exist
when a superior has the power to prevent or punish atrocities committed
by subordinates.”

The Hague tribunal “has shown that responsibility for atrocities,
especially war crimes committed against detainees, requires serious and
objective review of evidence up the chain of command.” Scheffer says,
“The die, therefore, is cast for U.S. judges and Congress, which can
punish such crimes, to enforce the law with unassailable integrity.”

THE ECONOMIST

London’s weekly magazine observes that the meeting of Arab leaders
in Tunis last week “was supposed to have been about two things:
political reform and a uniform stand on thorny issues such as Iraq
and Palestine.” But following the summit’s end, “Commentators from
Morocco to the Gulf, in unprecedentedly uniform derision, variously
deemed the meeting ‘ridiculous,’ ‘a failure,’ ’empty rhetoric’ and
‘instantly forgettable.'”

The strains between the Arab League’s 22 members have been exacerbated
by the “muscular” approach to the region by the United States,
the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and Washington’s unflagging support
for Israeli policies, its “icy hostility to old adversaries” like
Syria, and its “aloofness” from longtime allies such as Egypt and
Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the sudden U.S. preoccupation with promoting
democracy throughout the Middle East has “shaken Arab palaces and
streets alike.”

But the heads of state and envoys meeting in Tunis did make
an attempt to address “both their own peoples’ and Americans’
concerns.” The summit’s final communique “restated a commitment to
a comprehensive Palestinian-Israeli peace and made a new gesture to
Israel by condemning ‘all operations that target civilians, without
distinction.'” The text also, “unsurprisingly,” condemned the U.S.
president’s recent rejection of the right of displaced Palestinians
to return to Israel as well as his contention that Israel should be
allowed to keep some of the territory it has occupied since 1967.
Some statements were made about the leaders’ commitment to social and
political reform in the region, but many of these were “notably vague.”

The “Economist” notes that 34 Arab nongovernmental organizations from
14 countries issued a statement of protest, calling for a specific
timetable for change or for holding elections.

Stepping up the battle to prevent nuclear weapons from falling intot

EuropaWorld
May 28 2004

Stepping up the battle to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into
the clutches of terrorists

VIENNA, 26 May 2004 – In a significant move to reduce the risk of
terrorists getting their hands on portable missiles that can bring
down civil and military aircraft, the Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe has taken a decision to tighten export
controls on so-called MANPADS.

At its 423rd meeting today, the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation
(FSC) decided unanimously to adopt principles developed under the
Wassenaar Arrangement, a smaller group of nations that have agreed to
promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of
conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

“We have recognised the threats posed by unauthorised proliferation
and use of man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), especially to
civil aviation, peace-keeping, crisis management and anti-terrorist
operations”, said Armenian Ambassador Jivan Tabibian, whose country
currently holds the Chairmanship of the FSC.

By this decision, the 55 participating States of the OSCE agree to
incorporate these principles into their national practices and
regulations. Any infringement of export control legislation, related
to MANPADS, will be a criminal offence.

The States will report transfers of MANPADS, categorised in the OSCE
Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons as portable launchers of
anti-aircraft missile systems, by making use of the OSCE’s own SALW
Information Exchange requirements.

“We are determined to contribute to reducing the risk of diversion of
small arms and light weapons on to the black market”, said the FSC
Chairman. “This decision is in line with the commitments undertaken
by the OSCE at Maastricht in December, when we adopted the OSCE
Strategy to Address Threats to Security and Stability in the 21st
Century.”

The OSCE would be using all the tools at its disposal to address the
proliferation of MANPADS, he added. “The participating States will
review the implementation of these principles on regular basis.”

As well as invoking these principles to enhance effective export
control of small arms and light weapons including MANPADS in the OSCE
area, the 55 States will also try to promote their application to
non-OSCE countries.

Coventry HS students hear first-hand stories of survival

CHS students hear first-hand stories of survival
By MICHELLE COLE 05/28/2004

Coventry Courier, RI
May 28 2004

COVENTRY – High school students from across the state heard firsthand
the stories of survivors during Coventry High School’s first annual
History Symposium last Thursday.

The theme for the day was “Terror and Tragedy in the 20th Century,”
and presentations focused on three infamous historical events: the
Armenian genocide; the Holocaust; and the Cambodian genocide.

Nicole St. Jean and Mackenzie Zabbo, two CHS seniors, organized
the history day as part of their CIM project. The students had
participated in a “Terror and Tragedy” unit in their 11th grade
history class and decided to pursue the issues as their CIM project
to share the experience with others, according to Matthew Brissette,
social studies chairperson.

Five schools attended the History Symposium last Thursday, packing
about 450 students into the high school auditorium to learn from the
guest speakers.

“If [the students] can see things firsthand, it’s going to have that
much more profound of an impact,” Brissette explained.

With moving presentations from the survivors, students learned how
some childhoods end suddenly and tragically as young children are
caught in the crossfire of government changes and warfare.

For Loung Ung, one of the three guest speakers, her childhood – with
its memories of going to the movies with her father and sitting on
his lap eating fried cricket snacks – ended when a new regime took
power in Cambodia.

She was five years old.

In 1975, Ung’s family joined in the mass evacuation of homes from
the city of Phnom Penh and was forced to try to farm in primitive
“labor camp villages” in the countryside. She shared memories of
malnutrition and starvation and how she ate charcoal – imagining it
was cake – for her sixth birthday.

These changes were part of the new Khmer Rouge regime’s desire to
create a utopian agrarian society, Ung explained, and any who were
different or did not conform to this ideal were killed. Ung told
students how both of her parents – as well as 20 other relatives –
were killed by the regime. At nine years old, she was orphaned and
had to train as a child soldier.

In 1979 the Vietnamese army defeated the Khmer Rouge, and Ung was
able to escape the country. Today, she speaks to audiences about the
dangers of land mines – which still threaten the people in Cambodia
decades later – and the need for justice and peace. She is the
author of First They Killed My Father: a Cambodia Daughter Remembers
(published by HarperCollins in 2000).

“Peace is a choice. Peace is an action,” Ung said. Other speakers
included Moushegh Derderian and Alice Golstein. Derderian was born
in Turkey in 1911 and is a survivor of the Armenian genocide. From
1915 to 1923, more than 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the
Ottoman Turkish Government in a move to exterminate all of the
two million Armenians from the multi-ethnic Empire, according to a
handout. Golstein was born in Germany at the beginning of the Nazi era
and experienced many of the devastations leading up to the Holocaust.

“[The History Symposium] went very well for the first time,”
Brissette said. “Most students seem to be pretty positive [about
the experience].”

Brissette said he hopes the history day will continue in the coming
years through student organization and departmental support.

PM Margarian’s address on occasion of 1st republic day

PRIME MINISTER ANDRANIK MARGARIAN’S ADDRESS ON THE OCCASION OF FIRST
REPUBLIC DAY

ArmenPress
May 27 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS: Armenian prime minister Andranik Margarian
issued a message today to the nation on the occasion of the First
Republic Day, which runs below.

“Dear compatriots, I congratulate you on the occasion of the First
Republic Day. Due to the collective will of our nation and its
unbending spirit the centuries-long desire to restore Armenia’s
statehood came true On May 28, 1918.

In the row of our victories, celebrated in May, the heroic battles of
Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan and Karakilisa stand, in terms of implementing
the idea of independence by relying on our own strength after a
six-century long break that has become later a basis for new feats
of arms and new manifestations of Armenia’s freedom-loving spirit.

Though the First Republic did not live long, but its lessons-freedom,
independence, sovereignty and building a strong state, and which is
more important-to maintain it, have been passed from generation to
generation to have displayed itself anew in late 1980-s. The struggle
for the independence of Artsakh has reaffirmed our resolute to maintain
our historical achievements.

The 13-year long Third Armenian Republic is moving ahead today
resolutely, developing gradually its economy and consolidating its
sovereignty, reinforcing its role and place in global processes.

There is no alternative to independent Armenia, based on democratic
values and I believe that no force, no difficulty is able to impede
our march.

I once again congratulate you all on the occasion of this beautiful
festive day. I wish you all good health. strong belief, strength and
will to surmount difficulties. We have to be united and our historical
achievements will become the guarantee of our efforts for building
a strong and prospering homeland.

120m drams provided to Shirak region for work against money project

120 MILLION DRAMS PROVIDED TO SHIRAK REGION FOR WORK AGAINST MONEY PROJECT

ArmenPress
May 27 2004

GYUMRI, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS: About 25 percent of the 500 million drams
provided by the Armenian government for ” Work Against Money” project
is given to Shirak taking into consideration the level of unemployment
in the region and the previous effectiveness of the project.

According to the data provided by regional employment center from
the total 120 million provided to the region 82 million is given
to Akhurian and Gyumri, 20 million to Artik and its neighboring
territories, 10 million to Maralik city and its neighboring communities
and 4 million each for Amasia and Maralik communities.

As different from the previous years, this year instead of cleaning
the streets people will renovate green zones and forest areas. At the
same time reconstruction of secondary and cultural establishment and
streets will be conducted.

Shortly registration of citizens eager to participate will start.
Last year such an initiation provided work to 1500 unemployed.

Non-resident ambassadors received by FM, president

NON-RESIDENT AMBASSADORS RECEIVED BY FM, PRESIDENT

ArmenPress
May 27 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS: Non-resident ambassadors accredited in
Armenia, other high level diplomats held meetings today with Armenian
foreign minister Vartan Oskanian, minister of trade and economic
development Karen Chshmaritian and Head of Armenian Development Agency
V. Movsissian.

According to FM press services, the ambassadors came from about 40
countries of Europe, Asia, American, Africa, Middle East and CIS.

Armenian foreign minister outlined major policy trends of Armenia,
Armenia’s efforts to reduce tension in the region and establish
stability and cooperation. Exchanging ideas, Oskanian told about
Armenia’s security issues, energy resources and Nagorno Karabagh
conflict regulation prospects.

The guests conferred economic situation with minister of trade and
economic development K. Chshmaritian. They exchanged ideas about
present state of economy and prospects for development, the legislative
field stipulating foreign investment.

The aim of the meeting was to introduce non-resident ambassadors to the
present situation of Armenia, outline major external policy trends,
indicate economic prospects and developments as well as introduce to
historical cultural values of the country. Later the ambassadors were
also received by president Kocharian.

‘Burgers and genes’ changing medicine

Times Union, Albany, NY
May 28 2004

‘Burgers and genes’ changing medicine

Saratoga Springs–Medical school graduates told new challenges await
them

By RICK KARLIN, Staff writer

Tomorrow’s physicians are entering an era in which “the distinction
between illusion and reality is blurred,” Nobel laureate Dr. Joseph
Goldstein told the 168 graduates of Albany Medical College on
Thursday.

His point was that the pace of progress in medicine is growing so
swiftly that technologies which couldn’t even be imagined years ago
are almost upon us.

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Within a decade, maybe even in six years, Goldstein predicted, it’s
possible that people will be able to visit their corner drug store
and order up their own personal “genomes,” or genetic profiles, which
they can put on CDs and bring to their doctors. The physicians,
presumably including some of Thursday’s graduates, may then be able
to predict the odds that a patient may get certain types of cancer,
heart disease or other ailments.

That’s all the more amazing, he said, when one considers that the
field of genetics, and the link between genes and many diseases,
barely existed in the 1960s when Goldstein was a medical student.

Goldstein, who won the 1985 Nobel prize and the 2003 Albany Medical
Center prize for his research into how cholesterol accumulates in the
bloodstream, gave the address at the medical college’s 166th
commencement exercise, held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Medicine since the 1960s has been transformed by “burgers, chips and
genes,” said Goldstein.

The “burgers” referred to the rise of McDonald’s and the fast food
industry which has transformed the eating habits — and cholesterol
levels — of much of the nation, explained Goldstein.

“Chips” are the silicon microchips which have enabled the rapid
digitization of medicine as well as the rest of society.

“Genes,” of course, mark the revolution in genetics which could lead
to the on-demand CDs. Technology wasn’t the only aspect of medicine
that has changed over the years, according to Thursday’s speakers.

Among the changes are what Albany Medical College Dean Dr. Vincent
Verdile termed one of the “disturbing trends,” in which
pharmaceutical firms are sponsoring an ever-growing percentage of new
drug studies.

Those studies are also leading to more and more favorable outcomes,
noted Verdile who warned the newly minted physicians to be cognizant
of that trend.

The medical school graduates, who were heading to various residency
programs nationwide, seemed to be well aware of the rapid changes in
their field. “Things will always keep changing, hopefully for the
better,” said Ken Ofordome, who came to the college from Nigeria via
California and who is planning on a career as a urologist.

Siranush Yegiyants, a native of Armenia who has also lived in
California, said she expects the continued growth of managed care to
have a greater impact on her chosen specialty of plastic surgery.
“I’m definitely going to be affected by HMOs,” she said.

Jonathan Gainor of Voorheesville grew up hearing about how medicine
has changed.

His uncle, Barry Gainor, is a physician and professor at the
University of Missouri and grandfather John Gainor was a well-known
Albany-area doctor.

“He made a special impact on their lives,” the younger Gainor said of
his grandfather who would make as many as 18 house calls in a day.

“Can you imagine going to 18 houses in one day?” mused Barry Gainor,
who was back in the Capital Region for his nephew Jonathan Gainor’s
commencement. Those days, of course, are gone he said, adding,
“Everything changes and you have to adapt.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

www.sayschenectady.org

Eastern Prelacy: If you think the Armenian Apostolic faith saysnothi

PRESS RELEASE
Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America
138 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212-689-7810
Fax: 212-689-7168
e-mail: [email protected]
Website:
Contact: Iris Papazian

May 28, 2004

If you think the Armenian Apostolic faith says
nothing about current moral issues, think again!

New York, NY – Abortion, reproductive technologies, homosexuality,
gay marriage, suicide, euthanasia – these issues are hotly debated and
highly politicized. Various faith communities and organizations are
grappling with them for all sorts of different agendas. Whether we
like it or not, we are forced to face these issues in our personal,
professional and communal lives. One cannot have an intelligent
conversation nowadays without discussing these issues. Our faith,
steeped in the Holy Scriptures and the rich theological tradition,
gives us ample resources to think critically and intelligently about
these moral and ethical topics.

For this reason, the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC)
of the Eastern Prelacy has organized a unique program for adults in
the Mid-Atlantic region entitled “Critical Issues of Life and Faith,”
scheduled to take place at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson,
Pennsylvania, June 25-27, 2004 (for details, please visit the Prelacy
web site at ). An eminent Armenian Orthodox
ethicist and theologian, Prof. Vigen Guroian, will be the main speaker
for the Saturday portion of the program.

Dr. Vigen Guroian is a Professor of Theology and Ethics at Loyola
College in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of six books and
nearly 150 articles, and three books are forthcoming. Professor
Guroian is the first Armenian theologian ever elected to the
American Theological Society and the Orthodox Theological Society
of America. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society
of Christian Ethics, has been active in both the National Council
of Churches and the World Council of Churches. He has established
himself in the American academic community as a prominent Orthodox
theologian and ethicist. AREC recently commissioned Prof. Guroian to
write pamphlets on moral and ethical issues for the general public.

In addition to the presentations by Prof. Guroian, the Saturday program
will include small group and panel discussions. The panelists will be
Very Rev. Fr. Krikor Chiftjian (Media Relations Officer, Catholicosate
of Cilicia), Dr. Carlo Bayrakdarian (Psychiatrist), and Dr. Meline
Karakashian (Psychologist and Educator). On Friday evening, the program
will begin with a Bible study – ” Jesus Christ claims our total being –
body and soul,” led by Deacon Shant Kazanjian, director of AREC.

The general public and specially parents, educators, Church delegates
and board members should take advantage of this unique edifying
Christian educational program. Those who wish to attend only a portion
of the program may do so. For further information and registration,
please visit the Prelacy web site

http://www.armenianprelacy.org
http://www.armenianprelacy.org.
www.armenianprelacy.org