AIM, in English
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AIM, in English


NATIONBardakjian of the University of Michiganspoke about Culture, Identity and Relationsbetween Armenia and the Dispersion, and concentrated on the different ways in whichEastern and Western Armenians had evolved.Bardakjian addressed the linguistic, culturaland identity questions which have emerged asa result.Daron Der Khachadourian presented areport on Information Technology andCommunication, in which the need for a common information field among Armenians, aswell as more effective communication andcommon thinking, were identified as prioritygoals. Der Kliaehadourian discussed howsatellite broadcast technology can be utilizedto further these goals. Indeed, this was one ofthe themes of Kocharian's address as well,when he called on the Armenia and Diasporatogether to make possible Armenian television satellite broadcasts around the world.Advocacy: Current Capacities andOptions and Future Prospects was the themedeveloped jointly by the Armenian Assemblyof America and the Armenian NationalCommittee of America, whose executivedirectors, Ross Vartian and Aram Hamparianpresented the report.The final paper, on Armenia's economicdevelopment was written and presented byEconomy Minister Armen Darbinian. In it,Darbiniaa called for the strengthening of theArmenian Development Agency lo aid foreign investors and businessmen, and enable agreater flow of investments into Armenia.The same theme had been stressed by PrimeMinister Vazgen Sargsian.The same six themes were the focus ofspecial discussion groups. Delegates wereable to share opinions on the various aspectsof each complex theme.As a result of the thoughts and proposalexpressed during the Conference, two documents were developed and received unanimous approval at the conclusion of theConference. One was a statement of unityand resolve regarding the future and security of Karabakh. The other was a declarationof the will and intent of the conference. Ittouched on all aspects of the Armenia-Diaspora relationship: political, economicand social. It addressed the responsibilitiesof each toward the other. Perhaps mostimportantly, it called for the reform of allArmenian institutions within and outsideArmenia.Details and LogisticsFrom transportation to translation, theconference displayed various organizationaland logistics issues which will continue toconfront Armenia-Diaspora relations.Although most presentations and discussion was conducted in Armenian, simultaneoustranslation into Russian, French and Englishwas available throughout the conference. This1 ^r-;-- ■- w1fc % 1Left to right Vahakn Hovnanian, builder,Kevork Toroyan, businessman, HiimtiunKhachatrian, filmmaker from Yerevan,Gabriel Injejikian, educator from Californiaduring the ConferenceCoiWERSEBankStability and trusi you can count on.Providing a wide range of services.Muiticurrency and Armenian Dram accounts for resident and non-resident customers as well as individual and corporate entities.All types of payments in Armenian Dram and foreign exchange as well in Russian, Ukrainian and other CIS countries currencies.Most favorable foreign currency exchange rates, with no applicable fees.Exchange transactions in accordance with rates of interbank foreign currency markets of Armenia, Russia,and other countries. Prompt foreign exchange transactions as follows: SWAP, FORWARD, OPTION.Funds attraction from individual and corporate customers via promissory notes. Export activity financing with foreign countries.Financing of small and medium size projects approved by the World Bank and Lincy Foundation. Monitoring customers' Treasury Bill funds.Term Savings Accounts and Certificates of Deposit in Armenian Drams and foreign currency.Transactions with commercial and travelers' checks. Buying and selling of Treasury Bills at auctions and secondary markets with minimal fees.Servicing non-resident customers in the Treasury Bill market International money transfers via MoneyGram.International credit card payment systems: EURO CARD/MASTERCARD, DINERS CLUB, VISA.Managing hedge funds. Consulting and other services.CONVERSE BANK CORPORATION Komitas Avenue 49,375051, Yerevan, Republic of ArmeniaPhone (3742) 274 395, 271 610,235 186, 222 634, 222 970,281 015Fax: (3743) 906195, 906072 • Telex: 243 139 pbcon am, 623 207 conv ruE-mail: • E-mail: • Internet: http^/converse.r.am36 AIM NOVliMHKR 1999

NATIONhuge expense was borne by various donorsfrom around the world,Transportation to and from the conference site was provided by Armenia's Transportation Ministry. Guests and participantswere greeted at the airport by members ofArmenia's Slate Protocol office. Social eventsheld in conjunction with the conference (andWith the anniversary of Armenia's independence) were open to conference attendees.Now What?Just as everyone was pleasantly surprisedand satisfied at the conference proceedings.they were equally concerned about whatcomes next. The Armenian government madeclear its intention to continue to push for suchconferences. Prime Minister Saigsian eventinned down one delegate's suggestion thatthe budget for such activities be dividedbetween Armenia and the Diaspora. "No," he.said seriously, "we will simply add thisamount to our already huge deficit."The Conference voted to extend the lifeof the Conference Steering Committee whichhad been created by Kocharian last year.Kocharian made clear that Oskanian will continue to head the work of this Committee, aswell, even as he remains Foreign Minister.Besides beginning work on the next conference, the Steeling Committee will convenelive standing working groups on each of thetopics preliminarily examined at this conference, and to reconfigure the make-up of thesegroups within a month in order to include abroader base of experts. At the same time, theconference charged the steering committeewith constituting a sixth group to study thepossibility and appropriateness of creating acoordinating body to deal with the emergingArmenia-Diaspora agenda.Recognizing that reaching DiasporaArmenians through Diaspora organizations isonly partially effective, the SteeringCommittee immediately launched a in order lo informand enlist a greater number of professionalsand interested individuals in the developmentof Armenia-Diaspora cooperation,Minister Oskanian appealed to all thosecommitted to participating in systematizingArmenia Diaspora relations lo contact the committee, indicate their interest and expertise, andsuggest solid forms of cooperation. 'The conference was merely the beginning of a processwhich will continue lo develop as individualsand organizations in the Diaspora find ways tointeract in constructive, cooperative ways. Andof course, as Armenia and Diaspora work together lo build the necessary structures to solvemutual problems. The critical mass that we hadsaid was needed to address our national priorities has begun to come together. Now, we musicontinue on the path of defining and lackiingthose priorities. The conference was the first stepdown thai mad. which will require consistency,and continuous involvement. We are convincedwe are on ihe righl path." Oskanian said. ■Armenian life and customsbefore the Genocide, as toldin the letters of an Americanwoman living in Kharpertfrom 1898 to 1905.Great Need over the Water The Letters ofTheresa Huntington Ziegler, Missionary toTurkey, 1898-1905, edited S with anintroduction and commentary by SlinaKatchadourian {Gomidas Institute, 1999)392 pages, maps, ill., index $25.00For d catalog of Gomidas Institute publications,call toll-free 1 - 800 - 865 - 6405or visit www . gomidas. orgAIM NOVKMUER l'J9lJ 37

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