Anna Hakobyan, the wife of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of “My Step” and “City of Smile” charitable foundations, Goodwill Ambassador of the “Aurora” humanitarian initiative, attended the opening ceremony of Ararat Challenge Fest on October 19 in the Freedom Square, which is held within the framework of the “Aurora” initiative. Anna Hakobyan, accompanied by Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan, founders of “Aurora” humanitarian initiative, toured the pavilions in the Freedom Square. Afterwards, Anna Hakobyan attended the 1st discussion platform of the Ararat Challenge Fest with a speech entitled “It’s time to redefine peace”. The Prime Minister’s wife spoke about the need to maintain peace, stressing that it is extremely important to redefine peace. Mrs. Hakobyan emphasized that the whole world needs it.
“Traditionally, peace is considered the antonym of war. In other words, if it is not war, then it is peace. But is it so? Do we really have peace in all those situations where there is no war in its classical sense, when there are no shootings and cities are not destroyed? We can give many examples from different countries of the world when this is not the case. The concepts of “peace” and “war” have changed their original meaning. Are we at peace at the moment when we know that there is a war on the border between Syria and Turkey? In my deep conviction, no. We see the war, we see the photographs, we see people fleeing from the bomb blasts”, Anna Hakobyan said, adding that peace depends also on each individual and the circumstances of what a person does during his life not only for his own, but also for the peace and well-being of his neighbor, his city, the country.
“Every day we should ask ourselves: what did we do today and how were we useful? What step did we take that brought humanity closer to goodness? Because humanity does not lack the opposite, unfortunately. The balance should be maintained in favor of peace and humanism,” said the Prime Minister’s wife.
At the discussion, Anna Hakobyan spoke about the “Women for Peace” initiative, stressing that it refers exclusively to not allowing war situations and urging decision makers to choose a different way than war to solve their geopolitical problems.
To be honest, these days, when there was a tragic situation in Syria, I was thinking of making this initiative as accessible as possible to the first lady of Turkey or the first lady of the United States or the ladies of all other countries who have something to do in relation to restoring peace in Syria. I was thinking that I could ask, urge the ladies of those countries, humanely, as women, as mothers, to simply ask their husbands to stop this slaughter. I understand that this may sound a little naive, but every big thing starts with small steps.
I urge the wives, sisters and mothers of all world leaders not to accept and not allow what is happening in Syria today, to speak up right at home. Peace in the whole world can start from there,” said Anna Hakobyan.
Leymah Gbowee, Mikhail Piotrovsky, Gareth Evans and Per Stenbeck gave speeches on the same platform.