AAA: Assembly and League of Women Voters to Launch NGO Coalition Prj

Armenian Assembly of America
1140 19th Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

July 15, 2008
Contact: Michael A Zachariades
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 393-3434


Washington, DC – Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters (LWV) and
the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) are launching a project in
Armenia that will provide local NGOs with the skills necessary to
successfully build and maintain coalitions.

Nearly 5,000 registered NGOs exist in Armenia, working in a variety of
sectors and working on issues such as those facing children, youth,
women, as well as on issues such as the environment, human rights,
conflict resolution, anti-corruption, and more.

Speaking at a conference in Armenia last year, Zaida Arguedas, LWV
Deputy Director stated that "working in coalitions is not easy, it
requires a lot of discipline and clear internal rules and if successful,
coalitions are the most effective tool to effective advocacy."

This concept builds on the work the Assembly’s NGO Center program
(launched in 1994) has done to strengthen Armenian NGOs. Assembly
Country Director for Armenia and Karabakh Arpi Vartanian said, "The NGO
sector in Armenia has become a lively and vital part of Armenian
society. Imagine the synergy that would develop if these NGOs united in
coalitions, or even cross-sector coalitions, to address some of the
issues which are important to the people they represent!"

"Both organizations have a strong commitment to help advance and
strengthen democratic principles and the rule of law, said co-funder
Charles Talanian. "I am confident that this new initiative will help
foster and build upon existing structures already in place," Talanian

Co-funder and Assembly Board of Trustees Member Peter Vosbikian stated,
"The Armenian Assembly is committed to ensuring a secure, prosperous and
democratic Armenia, and by partnering with the League of Women Voters,
we have taken another important step forward. I am excited about this
project and commend the League of Women Voters for their enthusiasm and
commitment to making this a great success," added Vosbikian.

Peter Vosbikian and Charles Talanian are Armenian Assembly members and
private donors to this project. The program will provide educational
opportunities for NGOs to learn and practice coalition building
techniques, skills necessary for successful NGO and coalition
management, networking opportunities and more. It is expected that the
initial phase of the project will take place in southern Armenia,
inviting five to seven NGOs to participate.

"We’ve met with many people in Armenia representing local and
international NGOs and structures. All welcomed this initiative,
agreeing that coalition building would benefit the NGO sector, and
offered their assistance to help it succeed. The Armenian Assembly looks
forward to working with the League of Women Voters, benefiting from its
decades of experience, to further strengthen Armenia’s NGO sector,"
concluded Arpi Vartanian.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization,
encourages informed and active participation in government, works to
increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences
public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League
is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 88 years of
experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of
America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding
and awareness of Armenian issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
membership organization.



Photograph can be viewed on the Assembly’s Website at the following

Caption: (L-R) Zaida Arguedas, League of Women Voters Deputy Director
and Arpi Vartanian, Armenian Assembly Country Director for Armenia and
Nagorno Karabakh
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