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Anna Hakobyan meets with US Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Judy Chu

Anna Hakobyan, the wife of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the chairwoman of the board of trustees of the “My Step” and “City of Smile” charity foundations, presented the “Women for Peace” initiative at the conference titled “Women, peace and security” in Yerevan on December 4, spoke about the goals of the campaign. Anna Hakobyan noted that the campaign has a history of 1.5 years and is related to the political changes that took place in Armenia.

“Because during the April four-day war in 2016, as the editor-in-chief, I followed the war operations, the news from both sides, the war crimes, all the terrible events, and I went through all that as a woman and mother. After the changes in Armenia, also taking into account the danger that one of the conflicting parties could always resume the war, I decided to undertake a campaign to prevent this. And the “Women for Peace” campaign was born, which has a declarative nature. The message of the campaign is as follows: to urge and demand as women and mothers all sides of the Karabakh conflict, mediators, to never resort to military path in the case of the Karabakh conflict, not to allow military operations and to try to resolve the conflict through peaceful negotiations, at the negotiating table”, Anna Hakobyan said, adding that 25 years have passed since signing the ceasefire, negotiation process has continued in several stages, but no significant changes have occurred.

“During these 25 years, we have a creeping war and we have casualties on both sides. Those victims do not bring us even one centimeter closer to the settlement of the conflict. But in addition to the creeping war, one of the conflicting parties thought of launching a full-scale attack in 2016. 22 years after the signing of the armistice, Azerbaijan, which was preparing for war, arming itself with super-expensive weapons, resorted to military operations. But what happened as a result? The Azerbaijani side suffered 1000 casualties, the Armenian side suffered 100 casualties and the conflict is again at the same point as it was after the signing of the armistice. And it is possible to continue in this manner for 25 years, inherit this conflict to our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and have victims as a result of this creeping war”, said Anna Hakobyan, adding that the other option is peace.

“The aim of this campaign is to prevent every next victim. Because we are talking about the victims registered over the years, we present statistics, numbers and forget that we are talking about human lives. When we say that we have 10 victims during the year, we are talking about 10 families, about 10 people, about their parents, about their orphaned children. It is very difficult to see everything in statistics, and the purpose of my message is to remind that these victims are not statistics, they are real lives and we have no right not to bear responsibility. As the Prime Minister’s wife, I consider myself responsible for every life and I cannot resist saying my word,” said Anna Hakobyan.

During the discussion following the speech, the prime minister’s wife was asked what kind of expectation she has from the media field.

“As a media representative, I am of the opinion that if the initiative is valued and appreciated, then it should receive support, and if they think it is not important… But during this period, I have not received support, I have seen affirmative statements and, of course, more attacking, criticizing and variously manipulated publications”.