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PSIA Hosts Seminar on Saving Lives in Humanitarian Settings

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On November 9, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) graduate program held a seminar featuring Karen Daduryan, head of Partnerships and Programs at the “Future Armenian” development foundation and former official at the United Nations Population Fund.

Following brief opening remarks by the PSIA Interim Program Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Asbed Kotchikian, Daduryan took the floor to speak about “Saving Lives in Humanitarian Settings: An Insider View on Inter-agency and Multi-stakeholder Collaboration.” He started his presentation with an overview of the humanitarian crises that have unfolded around the world, emphasizing the exponential growth of humanitarian needs that require response from the global humanitarian aid community under the UN umbrella.

Daduryan discussed the evolvement of humanitarian crises in Syria and Armenia by drawing parallels and linkages between their overall political and geopolitical contexts. He touched upon the causes, consequences, and involvement of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, their strategic maneuvers and interplay in the effort of trying to find a delicate balance of interests. He then projected on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict around Artsakh.

The speaker concluded his presentation by reviewing the joint humanitarian response, particularly expounding on what it takes to join hands to save and protect lives and restore the dignity of affected populations, using the examples of Syria and Armenia. 

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session, during which participants had the opportunity to expand on the topic and seek further insight into the main arguments presented by Daduryan. The questions raised included the obstacles UNHCR faced to do humanitarian work in Artsakh, the issue of the Lachin corridor, as well as criticisms the UN deals with while providing humanitarian aid. 

The Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program of the American University of Armenia (AUA) equips students with advanced analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and communication skills through the study of political science and international affairs, emphasizing local and global perspectives and practical applications of theory. The program provides world-class teaching and research, producing graduates who can best contribute to the development of the nation.

AUA is pleased to announce the launch of its two new graduate degree programs: Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) and Master of Public Affairs (MPA) in the College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS). The two degree programs are set to begin in Fall 2023, pending final authorization by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports of the Republic of Armenia.