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Armen Sarkissian at UN Disarmament Conference


New York (25 October 2008) — Former Prime Minister of Armenia Armen Sarkissian participated in a special conference at the United Nations dedicated to the efforts to control and reduce stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction around the global.

The conference on October 24 was opened with a keynote address by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who urged all nations to pursue an international convention on nuclear weapons back by a strong verification system.

Presentations and discussion by prominent speakers — including Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and leaders from China, India, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, the US and a host of countries — focused on the main theme of the conference: “Building a New East-West Consensus on Weapons of Mass Destruction and Disarmament”.

“Disarmament remains to be a major challenge in global relations”, said Armen Sarkissian, who is founding President of Eurasia House International. “We need to devise concrete steps to help the global community to control Weapons of Mass Destruction. And a key element of this is to build trust between key states in the Euro-Atlantic and the Asian region so that strategic policy to control WMD could be developed,” explained Sarkissian.

The conference was organized under the leadership of the East West Institute, an international, entrepreneurial organization founding in 1980 and with centers in Brussels, New York and Moscow. The Institute is dedicated to making the world a safer place by addressing the seemingly intractable problems that threaten regional and global stability. More than a think-tank, it brings together individuals, institutions and states that do not usually cooperate and represent both grassroots pragmatism and high-level policy.

Armen Sarkissian was elected Vice Chairman of the East West Institute at the Board of Director’s recent annual meeting in New York. He has served as Board Member of EWI since 2004. In his new position, Sarkissian will work with Co-Chairman George F. Russell, Chairman of Russell Investment Group and Co-Chairman Francis Finlay, Chairman of Clay Finlay Inc. EWI chairmen emeriti and board members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland; Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Donald M. Kendall, former Chairman and CEO if PepsiCo. Inc.