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Solving Emigration.

Following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the regional turmoil resulting from Armenia’s newly gained independence, hundreds of thousands of Armenian citizens were unable to cope with post-Soviet economic hardship. Social and economic crisis left a deep trace on all spheres of life and people found a solution: emigration. Such a phenomenon currently continues today. A recent report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) warns that Armenia faces “a new wave of emigration” unless the government does more to improve the socioeconomic situation and strengthen the rule of law. After all, the main reason for migration to the USA, Canada, France and Russia, is Armenia’s high unemployment rate of nearly 30 percent and its weak rule of law.

On April 8, a training seminar on migration management took place in Gyumri. Representatives of Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII), Association Arménienne d’Aide Sociale (AAAS), the State Migrations Service, the Employment State Agency and the French Armenian Development Foundation (FADF), participated. The Shirak Province Deputy Governor Seiran Petrosyan and the Consul of France to Armenia Mr. Frederic Grapin were also present.

The training was held in the framework of a EU funded project called “Institutional Capacity Building in the Field of Migration Information and Co-operation Regarding Reintegration of Armenian Migrants," which is aimed at furthering cooperation on migration issues between the EU and Armenia. Its goal is to strengthen the institutional capacities of government bodies and institutions in the field of migration management, prevent illegal migration, promote legal migration, support social and economic reintegration of migrants returning to Armenia, and foster the contribution of Armenian Diaspora organizations to the development of Armenia.

I was also invited. Although FAR does not deal directly with the migration issues, its philosophy and activities are directed toward the substantial improvement of life in the motherland and empowering all Armenians for development of Armenia. Each and every Armenian both in Armenia and in the Diaspora have a sacred obligation to do his or her best to contribute to the development of the motherland. Local Armenians should understand that, unlike the Soviet times, they live and work for their own country. Armenians of the Diaspora should understand that we finally have the independent country we dreamed of for roughly eight centuries. They should support the locals who gained independence for all Armenians who now need strong and faithful shoulders to make the mutual country prosper.

A number of foreign organizations provide Armenia support and we are thankful to them, but everyone all over the globe has to make this country feel like our home, just as we do our houses: safe, neat, comfortable, beautiful and just.

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