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28 03 2008 -The Pontiff Endorses the UN’s “Global Armenia” Initiative
roundtable discussion
The Pontiff Endorses the UN’s “Global Armenia” Initiative
ANTELIAS, Lebanon - His Holiness Aram I hosted an unprecedented roundtable discussion on March 27. The event was attended by a United Nations delegation headed by Ms. Consuelo Vidal, UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Programme Resident Representative in Armenia, and some 50 representatives of Lebanese-Armenian community organizations.

The purpose of the roundtable was to share information and exchange ideas regarding the UN’s development and reform activities in Armenia, and to unveil and discuss the UNDP’s “Global Armenia” initiative. “Global Armenia” seeks to establish a multi-faceted partnership between the UNDP and the Diaspora, in the goal to foster democracy and prosperity in the homeland.

In his opening remarks, as he introduced Ms. Vidal to the guests, the Pontiff praised the far-reaching work of the UN in Armenia and conveyed his deep concern in connection with the recent events in Yerevan following the presidential elections. His Holiness went on to express his trust in the UN as a positive force advancing democratic institutions and economic development, and endorsed the world agency’s “Global Armenia” concept.

Ms. Vidal thanked the Catholicos for his national leadership and explained why the UN has chosen Lebanon as the first stop in a series of planned roundtable discussions across the Diaspora. “Throughout the years, the Catholicosate of Cilicia has had an instrumental role in shaping the Lebanese-Armenian community as the cultural, literary, and moral bastion of the worldwide Diaspora,” Ms. Vidal said. “And throughout the years, this Catholicosate and its flock have never forgotten about their homeland.”

Ms. Vidal added, “Your Holiness, I now invite you, as I invite the leadership of the Lebanese-Armenian community, to join forces with the United Nations. Together, we can put our collective resources in the service of lifting the people of Armenia out of poverty, hopelessness, and the alarming trend of migration.”

Following these remarks, Ms. Vidal made a PowerPoint presentation of UNDP activities in Armenia. She indicated that the UNDP, which has worked in the republic since 1993, is committed to helping address its economic, social, educational, and environmental challenges. UNDP projects, she said, are based on national objectives embodied in Armenia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, as well as the UN Millennium Development Goals.

At the end of her address, Ms. Vidal presented His Holiness Aram I with a plaque, in recognition of his wise leadership and uncompromising dedication to educational and cultural excellence, diakonia and social equality, ecumenical harmony, the Armenian Cause, and international cooperation. The plaque was inscribed with the words “In reverence and gratitude.”

The last portion of the event consisted of a question-and-answer session and an informative discussion of a broad range of issues, including various UN programs in Armenia and the prospects of cooperation between the agency and the Diaspora, the Lebanese-Armenian community in particular.


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of the Armenian Orthodox Church. Its jurisdiction extends over the Armenian Communities in the Middle East, Europe and North and South America. The Catholicosate, the administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon. /// Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia - Communication and Information Department.
Contact: V. Rev. Fr. Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer.

Armenian Catholicosate Of Cilicia's Address
PO Box : 70 317 Antelias - LEBANON
Tel: (+961-4) 410 001 / 3
Fax: (+961-4) 419724


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