WATERTOWN — The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) is one of the three main political parties in the Armenian diaspora and is also active in the Republic of Armenia. The Armenian Mirror-Spectator is an organ of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, similarly active in the Armenian world, and as such it can be understood that the approaches and ideas of these two parties may differ. The Mirror-Spectator strives to present a wide spectrum of views and so despite such differences, it is happy to have the opportunity to interview Hagop Der Khachadourian, chairman of the ARF Bureau since 2019 and president of the ARF-affiliated Armenian National Committee (ANC) International. Based in Montreal, Der Khachadourian had come to Boston to participate in a celebration of the 105th anniversary of the founding of the first Republic of Armenia.
The Bureau, elected by the ARF World Congress once every four years, is the supreme executive body of the ARF, which is active in 33 regions of the world (regions may represent sections of countries, entire countries, or grouping of more than one country). Der Khachadourian rose to this leadership position as a result of decades of involvement in the party and Armenian affairs. Born in Aleppo, he received his education in Armenian schools in Lebanon until the age of 17, when he moved to Canada. A graduate of Montreal’s Concordia and McGill Universities, he earned an MBA in New York and currently is CEO of Alcero, a Montreal-area company providing IT consulting, document management, and creation and maintenance of business software applications.
“I was very much involved in all kinds of Hai Tad [Armenian Cause] activities from day one,” he emphasized, working his way up from the ANC of Canada to become the chairman of the ANC International in the 1990s.
In 2004, when Der Khachadourian was first elected to membership in the Bureau, he was responsible for coordinating the Western chapters of the political party as well as its Hai Tad activities. “The Bureau,” he said, “is responsible for ideological direction and overall policies.”
Ideology and Agendas
Der Khachadourian said that as members of the Socialist International and the PS (party of European socialists), “we do consider ourselves as center left. Our ideology is based on human rights, the rights of the working people, and also on justice and fairness.” This economic outlook is one of the four pillars of the ARF Program, which also include democracy, a revolutionary nature, and national ideology.