By Hagop Vartivarian
NEW YORK – Hranoush Hakobyan, Armenia’s minister of the diaspora, after participating as part of President Serge Sargisian’s visit to Boston, visited New York for two days to meet with leaders of Armenian-American organizations such as the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration Committee of America Eastern Region, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), and the Cilician Prelacy. In addition, she accepted an invitation to a reception in her honor organized by the members of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA).
On the evening of March 31, the Armenian Mission to the United Nations (UN) held a reception in honor of Hakobyan. Invitations to the event were sent to members of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration Committee of America Eastern Region.
Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan introduced Hakobyan. Thanks to his position, Mnatsakanyan has been able to closely follow Armenian events in Washington and New York. He praised the efforts of all those present in the Armenian Genocide centennial commemorations.
Hakobyan gave a brief report on all the important commemorative events which have taken place throughout the world, focusing in particular on the visit to Tsitsernakaberd on April 24 in Yerevan. The presence of two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council turned the latter into an event of a political nature. He also spoke about the speech of the German president, the declaration of the Pope in Rome, and the ceremony of remembrance in the Vatican, and the significance of the canonization of the Armenian martyrs as saints in Echmiadzin for the Church of Armenia. He emphasized that when in every geographic location with a large Armenian community the populace assembled to organize large demonstrations and it made its voice of protest and demand heard in non-Armenian forums, this was a beautiful example of unity.
He then related some important and practical steps which could help Armenia, such as once every four years organizing a family vacation trip to Armenia, opening a bank account at a high interest rate in Armenia, and considering the purchase of a second home in the homeland.