By Florence Avakian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
NEW YORK — Last week the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened with more than 100 heads of state coming to UN headquarters here to present their 15-minute speeches. Streets and avenues near the world body and the hotels where the diplomats were staying were closed to traffic and pedestrians, creating a traffic nightmare. The UN was a virtual armed fortress.
There were police cars, ambulances, sand trucks and bulldozers surrounding the UN on the East River, police cruisers with flashing lights, and above, helicopters flying back and forth. Security was extremely tight. Heads of state with their coterie of handlers were everywhere, and hundreds of reporters from all over the world rushed about, desperately hoping for any exclusive bit of information.
In the morning session of Friday, September 23, Armenian President Serge Sargisian delivered a strong address to the UN General Assembly. He covered several important topics, including Azerbaijan’s Armenophobia, its threatening war stance and constant fabrications of truth; the necessity for the negotiating parties to reach a solution to the Karabagh conflict; the Armenian Genocide, and the refusal of Turkey to acknowledge it; and Turkey’s abandonment of the Armenia-Turkey normalization process. He concluded by pointing out the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and listed its many achievements. “Much still remains to be done,” he stated. “Above all, we are convinced that we are on the right path, a path that is irreversible.”
Sargisian, on this trip to the United States, became the first president of a foreign country to receive the Ellis Island Award “for his contribution to reinforcing Armenian- American relations, and peace establishment in the South Caucasus.”
20th Anniversary Marked