Permanent Representative meets with AYF Australia

Thursday, 01 September 2016

SYDNEY: On Sunday the 28th of August, members from the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia (AYF Australia) Nigol Touman and Pegor chapters had the rare opportunity to meet and ask questions of importance on the future of Artsakh to Australia's Permanent Representative to Nagorno Karabakh, Mr. Kaylar Michaelian.

The event coincided with the launch of AYF Australia’s first ever ‘Artsakh Advocacy Week’, where organisation will undertake a week-long campaign to raise awareness of the situation in Artsakh as well as its rights to self-determination.

The evening started with Mr. Michaelian speaking about ancient Artsakh and how it has always belonged to Armenia and gradually moved through the times of Sovietisation, the handing over of Artsakh to Azeri control by Joseph Stalin, the war in the 1990s and the recent April War. What was of most importance in the discussion was the future of Artsakh and what the youth in the diaspora, like the members of AYF Australia, can do.

Mr Michaelian highlighted that advocacy efforts such as the ‘AYF Artsakh Advocacy Week’ were key in Artsakh’s struggle for self-determination and raising awareness in the non-Armenian community was of extreme importance and should be a focus of every Armenian. With the continuous aggression and ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan, the ‘battle of the press’ has become even more important and where we need to focus all of our strength.

Mr Michaelian also discussed the possibility of another war, the OSCE Minsk Group's mediation process, the reports of pressure on President Serge Sargsyan to  potentially handing over liberated territories to increase the stability in the region, as well as the constant struggle that Armenians face every day in Australia trying to advocate for our rights against the billions of petro-dollars that Azerbaijan spends every year on foreign relations.

The AYF Australia political committee was extremely thankful to Mr Michaelian, and the members in attendance now have a greater understanding of our struggle in Artsakh and are ready to lead the community in raising awareness and advocating for the just rights to self-determination for Artsakh.

AYF Nigol Touman Chairperson Aram Tufenkjian said: “We thank Mr. Michaelian for presenting such a comprehensive presentation on the situation in Artsakh today."

"We see this as the first step of a long journey to educate not only our members but the general public. During the AYF Artsakh Advocacy week we have scheduled events that target the general Australian public and not just the Armenian community."

Tufenkjian added: "This is where we see that the battle will be won. Our advocacy efforts after this week will not end, we see Artsakh Advocacy week as just the beginning of our continuous effort to help our Homeland. Artsakh needs to be at the forefront of every Armenian’s mind”.

Originally posted on Armenia Online: