By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
BERLIN — It was a refreshing change to see such an initiative in the German capital. As Aurora Humanitarian Initiative co-founder Ruben Vardanyan remarked, participants “were happy to see the representatives of a developing country thinking about universal humanitarian values and expressing concern about dangerous processes unfolding today around the world.” The developing country in question is the Republic of Armenia.
What most Germans know about Armenians has to do with the 1915 Genocide and the ongoing campaign to have Turkey recognize it. But this time, the focus was not Armenia or the past; it was a current and pressing issue facing the entire world: the challenges of global migration and how to meet them.
The Aurora Dialogues, which took place December 4-5 in Berlin, were titled, “Millions on the Move: Need for Development and Integration.” Experts and humanitarian aid organizations shared their experiences and knowledge about global migration with representatives from the political world, business community and civil society. The aim was to develop ideas on how Germany and the European Union might find solutions to deal with the migration and refugee crises.
The choice of Berlin as a venue for this meeting, organized by the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative together with the Global Perspectives Initiative and Robert Bosch Stiftung, with the help of Stiftung Mercator, was not by chance. Considering that Germany has welcomed the lion’s share of refugees over the past several years — one million came in 2015 — and that Europe is the main destination sought by the current generation of refugees, Berlin was the right place.