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Latest revision as of 09:08, 5 September 2005

Club of Young Diplomats to host Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier


Yerevan - The Club of Young Diplomats at Yerevan State University (YSU) will host Mr. Harut Sassounian, the publisher of The California Courier, on Wednesday May 12, at 2 pm, at Charents Hall (YSU Linguist's Building, 2nd floor).


Mr. Sassounian will discuss a wide range of issues, including the campaign against the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the British Ambassador to Armenia and lobbying for the recognition of the Genocide in the U.S. and worldwide. He will focus on political issues of special interest to the students during the question and answer period.


"It will be a great honor and a pleasure to host Mr. Sassounian at our Alma Mater and have him share with us his exceptional experience as a political activist, lobbyist, columnist and community leader," said the President of the Club, Erik Grigoryan. "We are thrilled that he was able to find time in his extremely busy schedule to speak to the students of Yerevan State University," Grigoryan added.


The British Ambassador to Armenia made false and offensive statements on the Armenian Genocide during a press conference marking the first anniversary of her diplomatic posting in Armenia on January 20. Ambassador Thorda Abbott-Watt was reported as saying: "Great Britain accepts that the events of 1915 were mass killings (of the Armenian population), the responsible for which are the Turks. I see no problem calling it brutality. It shouldn't have taken place even in the course of war. But, I do not think that recognizing the events as genocide would be of much use."


The Club of Young Diplomats of Yerevan State University joined the worldwide campaign initiated by Harut Sassounian against the British Envoy's denial. The website, http://campaign.nt.am or http://uk-denial.armenianhouse.org was launched to post the latest developments on this issue as well as letters, articles, and other relevant documents. The Club issued a press release calling on the British Ambassador to apologize for her statement and urged the Foreign Minister of Armenia to take a more resolute stand on this issue.


Mr. Sassounian has a life-long involvement in various Armenian causes. As the representative of a non-governmental organization in Geneva Switzerland, he was part of a small team of Armenian activists who lobbied for years until the successful recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United Nations in 1985. His political commentaries are reprinted in Armenian and non-Armenian newspapersthroughout the world.


Mr. Sassounian formed the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of seven major Armenian-American organizations, to provide humanitarian aid to Armenia in a coordinated manner after the Spitak Earthquake of 1988. In the past 15 years, the UAF has shipped to Armenia $387 million worth of assistance. In addition, as the Vice-Chairman of The Lincy Foundation, he has helped oversee the implementation of $170 million of infrastructure and lending projects in Armenia. He holds a degree in International Relations from Columbia University in New York and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.


The Club of Young Diplomats at YSU is a member of confederation of the student Clubs working under the YSU Trade-Union devoted to empowering students through education and research in global developments, foreign policy, governance, security issues and social sciences by constructing a foundation of knowledge and shaping the public dialogue among the students. For further information on the Club and its activities, call (374-1) 554612 or email: diplo@freenet.am.


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