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AUA Hosts Swedish Delegation to Discuss Cooperative Projects

YEREVAN, Armenia – On May 22, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a delegation from the Embassy of Sweden in Yerevan, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The delegation comprised of Martin Fredriksson, charge d’ affaires and minister counselor; Christina Hartler, deputy director, Sida Department for Europe and Latin America; Christina Danielsson, head of the Unit for Eastern Europe, Sida Department for Europe and Latin America; Maria Bister, Sida program manager; Björn Linderfalk, deputy director, Department for Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Samira Zayane, desk officer for Georgia and Armenia, Department for Eastern Europe. The delegation was led by H.E. Ulrik Tideström, ambassador of Sweden to Armenia and Georgia.

AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, Provost Dr. Randall Rhodes, and Director of Communications Narek Ghazaryan welcomed the guests at the entrance of the Paramaz Avedisian Building (PAB). During the discussion the Swedish delegation was joined by Dr. Aram Hajian, dean of the Akian College of Science & Engineering (CSE), Tatevik Vardanyan, grants and projects manager at the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, and Harutyun Alpetyan, circular economy expert at the AUA Acopian Center. Ongoing and past cooperative projects between Swedish institutions and AUA were on the meeting agenda.

Members of the Swedish delegation were briefed on the history, academic programs, and research centers of the University. The guests inquired about AUA’s involvement in promoting environmental and climate change awareness, democracy and human rights, as well as economic integration and development.

Dr. Der Kiureghian highlighted the crucial role of the AUA Acopian Center in raising awareness of environmental and climate change issues. He apprised the Swedish guests of the AUA Center for Responsible Mining’s research, community engagement, and training initiatives. A recent Swedish funded initiative had brought faculty members from the Lulea University in Sweden focusing on mining sector governance issues.

Dr. Der Kiureghian also mentioned the recently established Manoogian Simone Research Fund (MSRF) which emanated from collaborative discussions among the Manoogian Simone Foundation (MSF), AUA, and the Armenian Government. It was pointed out that AUA was particularly chosen by the MSF to administer the research fund for projects by local universities on topics of interest to the Armenian Government. Alpetyan further elaborated on the Waste Governance in Armenia project realized within the scope of the Swedish Armenian SDG Expert Exchange Program funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Rhodes presented the role the University has in promoting democracy and human rights education, as well as economic integration and development. He told the guests about the Master of Laws (LL.M) program and the AUA Extension programs, particularly highlighting two trainings – Advancing Women in Leadership & Decision Making and Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. These applied courses upskill women leaders and entrepreneurs expanding their capabilities with the necessary skills to have equal opportunities in the market.

Dr. Der Kiureghian also informed the guests of the October 2018 International Symposium on Transitional Justice, organized by the Zoryan Institute in close collaboration with AUA.

The visit concluded in the Agbabian Hall where the delegation had the opportunity to view the exhibition featuring urban planning innovations from the five Nordic countries on transportation, waste and water management, energy, green space, and biodiversity.

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.

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