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Remarks by Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian at the UNAOC Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting


 “Youth Engagement: The Nexus to Building Inclusive Societies and Sustaining Peace”

High Representative,

Honorable Ministers,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Investment in youth is an investment in the future. The struggle for the hearts and minds of the youth will largely determine the societies of the future. It is among the aspirations of this Alliance to build a future free of wars, conflicts, dividing lines in a peaceful, more socially inclusive world. Unfortunately, those who disseminate intolerance and practice hate speech target the youth, trying to radicalize them and use as instruments of reaching their heinous objectives.
The country that intentionally and consistently radicalizes its youth is far from preparing its society for peace, but rather invests in an environment of animosity and hatred, that ran counter to the goals of the Alliance of Civilizations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Armenia remains committed to the goals of the Alliance. As one of the ancient nations of the world being situated on the crossroads of different cultures and civilizations Armenia has cultivated deeply rooted traditions of respect towards other cultures and religions, tolerance and coexistence. That is why Armenia preserves a rich cultural heritage that includes among others the Hellenistic era temple, some of the oldest churches in the world, medieval Jewish cemetery, 18th century mosque and soon will host the world’s largest Yazidi temple. And that is why Armenians have well-integrated and respected communities in about one hundred countries of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Armenia remains concerned with regard to the situation in the Middle East and the identity-based crimes committed by the terrorist groups, especially directed against the most vulnerable communities - the Christians and other religious minorities. The multi-ethnic and multi-religious diversity of the region that was once its indispensable asset has been severely crippled. Efforts to protect victimized communities should be supported irrespective of political and religious differences.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The responsible leadership does not capitalize on the differences between the civilizations but tries to build bridges promoting tolerance and mutual respect among the peoples of different cultural and religious identities. This is what the members of the Alliance of Civilizations should follow and this is the legacy they should leave for youth for a more peaceful and socially inclusive world.
Thank you.

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