His Holiness Catholicos Aram I presided over a conference call last week on his proclamation of 2022 as “Year of the Diaspora.”

A number of intellectuals and community activists took part in the call on Thursday, March 17, including Khachig Tololyan, Yervant Zorian, and Salpi Ghazarian, from the United States, Shahan Kandaharian from Lebanon, and others.

His Holiness explained the reasons behind the proclamation, highlighting the particularities of Diaspora communities, the challenges faced by traditional structures in certain domains as well as the situation of the Diasporan youth.

Following the introduction by His Holiness, the invited experts presented their recommendations, broadly grouped under the following subjects.

  1. Taking advantage of comparative studies on the Diaspora.
  2. Adopting mechanisms to study identity issues.
  3. Outreach efforts to communicate with segments of the Diaspora that have no links to our structures.
  4. Defining standards for the examination of specialized horizontal Diaspora studies.
  5. Developing outreach strategies adjusted to the local settings and particularities.
  6. Exploring the possibilities of a comprehensive use of the internet.
  7. Promoting the formation of groups on electronic and virtual platforms.
  8. Compiling a registry of manpower, capabilities and groups in the Diaspora.
  9. Developing plans focused on youth.
  10. Developing projects to strengthen Armenia-Diaspora links.

The role the youth plays was a particular focus of the meeting. Participants decided to work with youth, taking into account its critical role in the reorganization of the Diaspora.

According to the Catholicos, the renewal and revitalization of the ever-expanding Diaspora will be done with an eye toward benefitting Armenia.

His Holiness also said that similar consultations will continue, with thoughts and conclusions that will help achieve the goals set out in the “Year of the Diaspora” proclamation.