I am struck by the paradox. The authors of “At the Crossroads” note that for decades Armenians feared the group would disappear through assimilation in foreign lands and, of course, thought that an independent state would alleviate that existential threat.
However, with the rapid decline in population of the Republic of Armenia due to emigration, paradoxically, it seems the assimilation threat has grown since independence.
Reversing that worrisome trend is therefore paramount. Obviously, the need for economic development, the growth of job opportunities in Armenia and security will, as the authors very skillfully explain, play an important role in reversing the process.
One area I felt was not given sufficient emphasis in the discussion paper was the need to develop a system for fair, predictable and merit-based resolution of economic and political disputes – the development of the rule of law.
Inspired individual leadership is not as important, in my view, as building reliable institutions. Whether discussing taxes, business licensing or elections, it is critical that citizens grow to trust that court decisions will be based on merit and not influence.
Thanks for writing and sharing this thought-provoking work.
The views expressed are those of Mr. Koumjian and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.