YEREVAN, Armenia – On November 9, just before the 30th anniversary of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) liberation movement, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted Ashot Ghoulyan, president of the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, to deliver a lecture titled “The State-Building Process in Artsakh: Combining Security and Democracy.”
Ghoulyan was welcomed to the University by AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, Vice President of Operations Ashot Ghazaryan, Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes, interim dean Dr. Donald Fuller, Dr. Arpie Balian, and several faculty members.
Before the presentation, Dr. Der Kiureghian introduced Ghoulyan and detailed his academic and professional achievements. Ghoulyan graduated from Stepanakert Pedagogical Institute and the Stepanakert branch of Vanadzor Pedagogical Institute with honors. He held the positions of NKR Minister of Foreign Affairs and NKR Minister of Education, Culture and Sports. Ghoulyan is a member of the parliamentary faction “Democratic Party of Artsakh” and holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He is also the recipient of the Order of Grigor Lusavorich.
Taking the podium, Ghoulyan remarked, “I am glad to be at AUA, one of the leading educational institutions in Armenia. In the last few years, AUA has been greatly engaged in different projects implemented in Artsakh. As a result of our close cooperation I was invited to deliver a presentation for AUA students and faculty, which is a clear indicator that AUA not only carries out its basic responsibilities in education and scientific spheres, but also is greatly involved in national issues.”
Ghoulyan went on to discuss how within academic circles the discussions on Artsakh mainly refer to the negotiations around the stabilization of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the possibilities of peaceful solutions and the establishment of security in the territory. However, these discussions have left the peculiarities of Artsakh’s state-building process, as well as the provision of security, the development of democratic institutions, and the topic of international recognition in the shadows. During his presentation Ghoulyan highlighted the importance of combining security and democracy, which he believes go hand in hand.
Following the presentation, Dr. Der Kiureghian remarked, “I am very happy to hear once again that the Republic of Artsakh does not rely only on a militaristic approach to creating state structures for a democratic society. This is the best way to show the world that Artsakh has the capability to be independent.”
Dr. Balian, a professor from the Political Science and International Affairs program, stated, “The lecture was very informative and provided the opportunity to hear about timely issues from an influential figure in the Republic of Artsakh. Particularly for students of political science and international relations, the content delivered by Mr. Ghoulyan was valuable for understanding the manifestation of fundamental theories in the field, understanding the dynamics of international relations, as well as the relationship between elected officials and administrators in the new presidential system of the republic.”
Ghoulyan’s presentation was followed by numerous questions from the audience, many of which were related to Artsakh’s involvement in the negotiation process and the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh as an independent state. Ghoulyan expressed his gratitude to the AUA community, which continually urge people in Armenia, the Diaspora and elsewhere to use different channels to contribute to the development of Artsakh.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.