NEW YORK—The fourth instalment of the Armenians and Progressive Politics (APP) conference focusing on “Armenia at 21” will be held at Columbia University on Sept. 28-29, 2012. The conference will bring together distinguished activists, academics, and politicians from Armenia, Europe, South America, and the U.S. This year’s conference will address topics on the environment, foreign policy, economy, civil society development, and rule of law. Approximately 30 experts, activists, and academics from Armenia, Europe, South America, and the United States will participate in the two-day conference.
The Friday night plenary session, which will take place on Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m., will consider the Occupy movement and the revolutions in the Arab world, and their relevance for Armenia. The evening’s confirmed speakers include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent Chris Hedges, Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, and Arpine Galfayan, president of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights in Armenia.
Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute in New York. His career in journalism has taken him to the Middle East, the Balkans, Central America, and Africa, working for such media outlets as the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Christian Science Monitor. In 2002, he received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. A best-selling author, his works include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), Death of the Liberal Class (2010), and most recently Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012). He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, and the University of Toronto.
The six panels scheduled for Sept. 29 will examine the 21-year trajectory of Armenia’s statehood, economy, and society; rule of law, corruption, and elections; the development of civil society; Armenian-Turkish relations; foreign policy; and natural resources policy.
The panelists include Larisa Minasyan, executive director of the Open Society Institute; Lara Aharonian, founder and chairperson of the Women’s Resource Center in Yerevan and Shushi; Mamikon Hovsepyan, president of PINK Armenia; Sona Ayvazyan, project director at Transparency International (Armenia); Khatchik Der Ghougassian, professor of international relations at the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Markar Melkonian, teacher, writer, and founder of the Monte Melkonian Fund; Kirk Wallace, program director at the Armenian Environmental Network; and Armand Grigoryan, visiting professor of international relations at Lehigh University. There will also be a number of speakers from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) leadership in Armenia (details to follow).
The conference is organized by the ARF-D (USA) Eastern Region Central Committee and co-sponsored by the Armenian Society of Columbia University and the ARF-D (USA) Western Region.
The conference will travel to Los Angeles on Oct. 5-6.