Armenia’s top leadership at Yerablur

Pashinyan Lays Out Long-term Plans on 29th Anniversary of Independence

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YEREVAN — On September 21, Armenia celebrated the 29th anniversary of its independence.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered a message of congratulations, adding his long-term vision for the country.

Armenia should nearly double its population, create 1.5 million new jobs, achieve a sevenfold increase in its average wage and eliminate poverty over the next 30 years, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Monday, September 21.

Pashinyan set these and other ambitious targets in a “strategy of transforming Armenia by the year 2050” which he put forward on the 29th anniversary of the country’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.

He said that every major decision of his government will stem from the strategy and will be aimed at achieving its wide-ranging goals. “We hope that as a result of this dream and these mental changes we will manage to achieve galloping development,” he said, presenting the document to a large group of university and high school students in Yerevan.

Pashinyan insisted that the document’s long time span does not mean that he intends to stay in power for the next 30 years. He said he views its implementation as a “pan-national movement” that should also guide the country’s next government.

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“It’s not that this strategy must remain unchanged until 2050,” he said, adding that Armenians could amend it through general elections. He also stressed that his government is ready to consider changes in the text and will organize public discussions for that purpose soon.

Pashinyan already promulgated last year some of the targets contained in the strategy, notably the need to increase Armenia’s population to at least 5 million by 2050. Opposition figures and other critics of his administration dismissed the move as a gimmick, saying that he should instead commit himself to meeting more short-term socioeconomic and demographic targets.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and soldiers at Yerablur

The prime minister said that he had planned to unveil the strategy in April but decided to postpone that due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has hit the Armenian economy hard, ending its robust growth that began in 2017. The Central Bank of Armenia forecast last week that the country’s GDP is on course to shrink by 6.2 percent this year. Pashinyan’s development strategy says that it should grow 20-fold by 2050.

“We faced many trials throughout the past 29 years: war, socio-economic bottlenecks, renewed tides of emigration, rigged elections, October 27, political repression, March 1, emergency situations and despair. However, these hardships failed to break our people’s determination. The non-violent, velvet, people’s revolution of 2018 came as a vivid evidence of nationwide optimism, civic stance, which reaffirmed that the Armenian people’s will to have a sovereign, free, powerful and happy state was stronger than ever.

“The eternity of our sovereign statehood is at the core of our national agenda, and we must focus all our efforts on the daily service of that agenda,” he said.

From the strategic point of view, there are 4 guiding values, Pashinyan said:

  1. Armenian statehood – Statehood is the only tool that allows us to make decisions about our destiny. We perceive statehood as a key value, it is very possible to state that the permanence of the Armenian statehood is the practical problem that we must solve.
  2. Education – Education is the only tool, the cornerstone, with which we will be able to recognize our problems find their solutions.
  3. Individual – The individual is the only entity that forms a family, which we consider a national value, which forms a society, a people or a state. By the way, I consider the recording of individual effort an idea prevailing in Armenia today.
  4. Work – Work is the only tool that allows you to realize the accumulated creative potential. The government must be able to pursue a policy so that through education, individual freedoms and development, people have the opportunity to realize their creative potential through work. ”

According to Pashinyan, by uniting the pan-Armenian potential, it is necessary to understand the equal involvement of women and men in the solution of national and state problems.

“The majority of our population are women, but due to many circumstances today the potential of women in Armenia is not fully included in all spheres; it is not the basis of the development of the society, the state, starting with the Armed Forces, continuing with the economy and the system of state governance. By consolidating the pan-Armenian potential, we must understand not only the Armenians around the world, but also those segments of the Armenians, in particular, women, whose potential can be fully included, but there are no institutional mechanisms or public consent. We obviously do not fully use the potential of women in all spheres, the full involvement of that potential is a strategic issue for us. ”

“In the near future we will have Armenia 2050 website, which will become a working platform for discussions, suggestions, criticisms. As we entered 2020, I said that we were moving to strategic management. Moreover, we planned to do this performance in April, Citizen’s Day, but for well-known reasons it was postponed. “Now we must carry out strategic management through our daily work, so that any decision of a state body must have a logical-practical connection with this strategy,” the Prime Minister concluded.

Nikol Pashinyan also answered the questions of the presentation participants.

Messages of Congratulation

The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a congratulatory message to Pashinyan.

He wrote, “I am very happy to congratulate you on September 21, the Independence Day of your country.

“For the 29 years since the Republic of Armenia gained its independence, the United States has stood by the Armenian people and supported their efforts to build modern democracy and economic development. We are ready to continue cooperating in the areas of our common interests, including the expansion of bilateral trade and investment, the strengthening of the rule of law, regional stability, and support for your country’s sovereignty.

Today’s challenges reaffirm the strength of our partnership. The ties between the Armenian and American peoples are undeniably strong and enduring, whether in the face of a new global coronavirus epidemic or in side-by-side international peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan or Kosovo.

“On this special day, we wish you all the best and look forward to strengthening our friendship over the coming year.”

The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin also sent a congratulatory message; “On behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, I personally congratulate you on the national holiday of the Republic of Armenia – Independence Day.

“I would especially like to mention the friendly, partner-allied nature of Russian-Armenian relations. I am convinced that the further strengthening of trade and economic-investment cooperation, the implementation of promising joint projects in energy, industrial and transport infrastructure, and the deepening of integration cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union are fully in the interests of Russia and Armenia.

“I wish you, dear Nikol Vova, good health, prosperity, new success in your responsible state activity, and happiness and prosperity to all the citizens of Armenia.”

Li Keqiang, chairman of the State Council (Prime Minister) of the People’s Republic of China, wrote, “On the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of Armenia, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes.

“At present, the Sino-Armenian friendly cooperation relations maintain the positive dynamics of development. The political mutual trust of our countries is growing, the cooperation in different spheres is comprehensively developing. Since the outbreak of the new type of coronavirus, China and Armenia have been providing constant support to each other, overcoming difficulties through joint efforts, which reflects the deep friendship between our countries. I am ready to make efforts together with you for the comprehensive development of bilateral relations within the framework of the joint implementation of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative.

“I wish you good health, all the best, the Republic of Armenia prosperity, and the Armenian people peace and happiness.”

And President Vladimir Putin of Russia also sent a congratulatory note: “Please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of Armenia. Russia maintains friendly, allied relations with Armenia.

“I am confident that the constructive dialogue between our countries, bilateral cooperation in various fields, as well as cooperation within the framework of integration processes in the Eurasian space will continue to develop actively. Undoubtedly, it is in the interests of the Russian-Armenian peoples, it is on the path of ensuring regional security and stability.

“I wish you, dear Nikol Vova, good health և success, and all the citizens of Armenia – peace and prosperity.”

Visit to Yerablur

On the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, Pashinyan and the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sargsyan, the President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan, Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan, accompanied by the top leadership of the republic, visited “Yerablur” military pantheon to pay tribute to the memory of Armenians who sacrificed their lives for the Homeland.

The prime minister laid flowers at the graves of Commander Vazgen Sargsyan and Andranik Ozanyan, and a wreath at the memorial to the fallen freedom fighters.

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