Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Proposal to Launch Armenia-Artsakh Reconstruction Bonds: Open Letter to PM Pashinyan

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The R. H. Nikol Pashinyan

Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

Dear Mr. Pashinyan,

In 1951 Israel had barely emerged from an existential struggle to create Jewish state in the middle of an ocean of enemies. Yet in the midst of truly life-threatening circumstances, Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion called for the vast Jewish diaspora to participate in the building of this state surrounded by mortal enemies.

I would not establish necessarily a one-to-one parallel between the case of Jews seventy years back in Israel and that of Armenians today in Artsakh and Armenia. We Armenians are currently much better off!

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After one month of devastating war which began on September 27, Artsakh and Armenia are still not out of the woods. However, the war must end eventually and then a huge reconstruction effort will be needed in the motherland. It must erase the enormous damage suffered so far and, even more importantly, help Armenia and Artsakh much further to solidify and strengthen their infrastructure, industry, defense and all other means to secure their existence for many years to come. All of this requires various resources, among which financial backing is unquestionably fundamental.

Ben Gurion in 1951 came up with the concept and the efficient process of issuing Israel Bonds which has allowed the Jewish diaspora to contribute substantially to the nation-building process. Israel Bonds continue to this date to play that role. Furthermore, as successful as Israel has become internationally thanks to the well-known intellectual and business abilities of the Jewish people, many non-Jews have become Israel Bond espousers, and hence contributors to Israel’s well-being.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister Pashinyan, Armenia and Armenians must emulate today Israel’s successful experience of 1951. Please take the initiative, with the help of the expertise available as much in Armenia as in the diaspora, to issue “2021 Armenia Reconstruction Bonds.”

With the unprecedented pan-Armenian solidarity created as a fortunate by-product of the otherwise unfortunate current catastrophic crisis, there is no doubt that every breadwinning Armenian will want to participate in this effort. In a diaspora of well over 10 million Armenians spread across the world, from Russia to Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, an annual financial input to the economy of Armenia and Artsakh of the order of one billion dollars is a realistic expectation. This would provide a permanent source of financial support to the Armenian economy which has the potential of becoming over an order of magnitude greater than the current straight donation process. The latter may either continue to operate separately or be merged with this new endeavor.

In order to eliminate even the shadow of any doubt in the mind of any potential bond purchaser, an unquestionably transparent operation is necessary, staffed equally by officials from Armenia and Artsakh, and from the diaspora. Consultation with experts both in the homeland and abroad and the support of diaspora organizations and media will help create positive public opinion and support.

The Armenia Reconstruction Bond buyers will, I am sure, accept that for the first few years the rate of return of these bonds may be practically 0%.  On the other hand, Armenia’s excellent intellectual, business and commercial human resources will serve as guarantees for a sufficiently profitable economy to allow, in less than a five-year period of time, a respectable and reasonable return to the Armenia Reconstruction Bond holders.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I am convinced that the diaspora will respond most positively to such an initiative.

Please accept my wholehearted sincere wishes for our nation to overcome the current existential crisis. We shall overcome!

Sincerely,

Dr. Arshavir Gundjian C.M.

Montreal, Canada

Dr. Arshavir Gundjian

cc: Honorable Anahit Haroutyunian

Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia, in Ottawa, Canada

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