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Celebration in Geneva on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Armenia's membership to the United Nations and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Switzerland

24.11.2017

On November 24, a concert dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s membership to the United Nations and to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Switzerland was held at Victoria Hall in Geneva with the participation of world-famous musician Sergey Khachatryan.

Mr. Charles Aznavour, Ambassador of Armenia in Switzerland and Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, Mr. Valentin Zellweger, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN Office in Geneva, as well as Mr. Rémy Pagani, Mayor of Geneva, delivered welcoming remarks.

In his welcoming speech Ambassador Aznavour mentioned that Armenia joined the family of sovereign states a quarter-century ago, making a reality the dream of many generations of Armenians worldwide. "Membership to the United Nations symbolized the international recognition of the newly independent Republic of Armenia. This was also the expression of its commitment to contribute to the collective efforts of the international community aimed at building a just, equitable and peaceful future base on universal values," noted Charles Aznavour. Ambassador expressed his gratitude to all of the United Nations member states and partners which were Armenia's true companions on this twenty-five-year-long journey. He underlined that the return of Armenia to the family of states was also marked by the establishment of bilateral relations. In this regard, he noted with satisfaction the establishment of diplomatic relations right after the declaration of independence and excellent cooperation between Armenia and Switzerland, which contributed to the strengthening of Swiss-Armenian centuries-old friendly relations. He reiterated his gratitude to the people of Switzerland for their solidarity for Armenians throughout the darkest pages of the history of Armenian people.

Mr. Rémy Pagani, Mayor of Geneva stated in his speech that he was very pleased to represent Geneva at the milestone event in the history of Armenia, one of the world's oldest civilizations. "The last quarter century has been specifically important for the Armenian nation, which has a three-thousand-year-long history. By declaring the independence of the new republic, Armenia took the path of the reforms while preserving its architectural and cultural heritage, which is also a world heritage," mentioned the mayor, emphasizing that the Armenian people have always been able to resist to all the challenges, including the genocide committed against the Armenian people at the beginning of the 20th century.

Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations Office in Geneva recalled in his welcoming remarks dynamically developing multifaceted and multidimensional relations between Armenia and Switzerland. The Ambassador welcomed the organization of the 17th Summit of La Francophonie in Armenia in 2018 and reaffirmed Switzerland's readiness to support the organization of cultural events within the framework of the Summit. Referring to the Armenian-Swiss bilateral relations, the Ambassador recalled the humanitarian assistance provided by Switzerland to the victims of the 1988 earthquake. He also mentioned about the Armenian-Swiss economic relations, highlighting the unprecedented and considerable growth in trade turnover between Armenia and Switzerland in 2017. He also noted that Switzerland is one of the key economic partners of Armenia not only in trade related issues, but also in terms of investments.

Ambassador Zellweger also attached high importance to Switzerland’s engagement in the promotion of regional security. The signing of the Zurich protocols between Armenia and Turkey in 2009, as well as the meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Geneva in October 2017 indicate Switzerland's continuous efforts to promote regional security.

Mr. Michael Møller, Director General of the UN Office in Geneva, concluded the official part of the event. He noted that Armenia, since its membership to the UN,  was true to its commitments and has put great efforts for the promotion of the United Nations core values – protection and development of peace, security, and human rights.

M. Møller appreciated Armenia's engagement in a number of peacekeeping missions under the auspices of the United Nations aimed at the establishment of international peace and security.

He also underlined Armenia's significant efforts towards the prevention of genocides. Director General outlined, in particular, the UN Resolution initiated by Armenia on the Prevention of Genocide, which was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015. Based on that Resolution the UN General Assembly unanimously established December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

The concert was attended by the ambassadors accredited to the UN Office in Geneva, senior officials of the UN Office in Geneva, representatives of the Swiss-Armenian community. During the concert, sponsored by the ‘’Avetis’’ Association, Sergey and Lusine Khachatryans performed classics by Mozart, Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturian, Komitas and Edvard Baghdasaryan.

 

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