President Armen Sarkissian (right) and Aso Tavitian

President Sarkissian Honored with East-West Institute’s Global Statesman Award

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NEW YORK — On October 3, President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia was given the 25th annual John Edwin Mroz Global Statesman Award of the East-West Institute at the New York Athletic Club. Sarkissian is vice president of the East-West Institute. Mroz was the founder of the Institute, which continues to attempt to lessen tensions between the East and the West.

President Armen Sarkissian

Previous winners of the Mroz award include President George H. W. Bush in 1995, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1999, British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 2008, and Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee Hwa.

Master of ceremonies Reena Ninan invited Ross Perot Jr., the chairman of the institute, to welcome the guests. Afterwards, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Fr. Daniel Findikyan gave a prayer.

Philanthropist Aso Tavitian, who played a large role in organizing this event together with Berge Setrakian of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, was the keynote speaker. Prof. Vartan Gregorian gave a concise historical overview of the political life of the region.

Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. presented Sarkissian with the award. Perot said, “We are honored to hand the John Edwin Mroz Global Statesman Award to the representative of Armenia, His Excellency Armen Sarkissian for his long-lasting career and achievements in statesmanship as well for considerable contribution to global development. The selection of the President of the Republic of Armenia has come to augment his vast experience in the areas of Physics, private sector, and state administration. In the times, when Armenia is going through the period of great changes, Sarkissian was entrusted with ensuring stability and creation of a new vision for his country which, we are confident, he will lead towards a more democratic and prosperous future. The EastWest Institute is committed to the development of innovative and creative solutions to solve current problems and get ready for the future challenges. Individuals like Sarkissian make our efforts possible.”

From left, Hagop Vartivarian of the Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the US and Canada, President Armen Sarkissian, Nouneh Sarkissian, Kevork Marashlian, chairman of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party Eastern District Committee

In accepting the award, Sarkissian declared, “It is a great honor for me to represent my nation and my state here. I really have a dream or vision for the future and that dream or vision includes also the fact or reality that we are facing, i.e. where this world is moving to.

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“If the 20th century was the century of natural resources, and, based on that, political and other powers, the 21st century is going to be different. … The 21st century is the century of research, development, new technologies. The 21st century is the century when it will be done and ruled by new ideas, by new research, by those who are quick, by those who are young …. That will be the 21st century. The politics will be run differently.”

Sarkissian continued: “And I do truly believe that the 21st century is a century for Armenia. That’s why I think we will be victorious. I am happy to belong to the Armenian nation, a small state but a global nation, a nation of the 21st century. There are not many of us, that sort of nation. But I do believe that small states but global nations that have the global connectivity, that can accumulate and build their country for the first time, it’s the future, and I do believe that the institutes like the East-West are going to be one of the leaders of the 21st century.”

Armenian organizations represented at the event included the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Diocese, and the Armenian Missionary Association of America.

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