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ACNIS Releases Expert Poll Results, Focus on Armenia in the World

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  • ACNIS Releases Expert Poll Results, Focus on Armenia in the World

    Armenian Center for National and International Studies
    75 Yerznkian Street
    Yerevan 375033, Armenia
    Tel: (+374 - 1) 52.87.80 or 27.48.18
    Fax: (+374 - 1) 52.48.46
    E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

    May 27, 2004

    ACNIS Releases Expert Poll Results, Focus on Armenia in the World

    YEREVAN - The Armenian Center for National and International Studies
    (ACNIS) today convened a public roundtable to issue the results of
    its first two expert opinion surveys. Entitled "My View of Armenia's
    Future" and "Armenia' s Foreign Policy, Orientation, and Attitude
    toward Power Centers of the World," they embraced vital issues of
    concern for both the Republic of Armenia and Armenians worldwide. The
    seminar brought together policy and academic circles, leaders of
    the NGO community, representatives of the mass media, politicians,
    public figures, and human rights advocates in order to consider
    specific trends and patterns in the specialized domain.

    ACNIS founder Raffi Hovannisian greeted the audience with opening
    remarks. "Currently concluding its first decade of public service,
    the Center's research agenda this year will seek out the applied
    setting and the public pulse, expanding its field of observation
    to include the entire spectrum of society. In this manner we will
    develop the foundations required to compare today's expert viewpoints
    with prevailing public opinions, for a better and more comprehensive
    understanding of key issues facing the nation," Hovannisian said.

    ACNIS legal and political affairs analyst Stepan Safarian then
    presented the results of the Expert Opinion Poll on "My View of
    Armenia's Future." In the foreseeable future, regional cooperation will
    be a priority issue for Armenia, assert 18% of the respondents. Almost
    an equal percentage prioritize establishment of democracy, of
    which 2% emphasize the restoration of constitutional order. 16% of
    the respondents attach primary importance to the settlement of the
    Karabagh matter. 10% prefer a reassessment of foreign policy, and 10%
    law and order in domestic life. For 8% of respondents, strengthening
    of the army and maintenance of internal stability each are ranked
    as the most urgent issue. 6% note the campaign against corruption,
    and 4% the creation of jobs, as the question of paramount importance.

    In another connection, 68% of respondents believe the elimination
    of emigration to be plausible in the near future, while 56% find
    possible the regulation of the Karabagh conflict, 52% international
    recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and 52% poverty reduction. Only
    6% have an optimistic view about the return of historical Armenian
    lands. An equal percentage share a hope to succeed in the struggle
    against corruption. In the opinion of 80% of respondents, Armenia's
    prospects for sovereign democracy are endangered in the short
    run. This notwithstanding, 74% still believe that all challenges
    currently faced will be overcome.

    ACNIS international affairs associate and Yerevan State University
    professor Aram Harutiunian presented the results of the Expert Opinion
    Poll on "Armenia's Foreign Policy, Orientation, and Attitude toward
    Power Centers of the World." In his report, 56% of all respondents
    attach high significance to protection of human rights as the leading
    requirement to which the Council of Europe holds the Republic of
    Armenia, 34% to constitutional reforms, and 6% to judicial reforms. 82%
    are not satisfied with the level of Armenia's fulfillment of Council
    of Europe commitments, whereas 72% believe that it is the Council of
    Europe, together with the European Union, which promotes Armenia's
    independence. As for the states or international organizations
    circumscribing Armenia's independence, 56% of the respondents note
    the Russian Federation, 6% the United States and the World Bank,
    respectively, 4% Turkey, and so on. It is noteworthy that 12% cite
    the Armenian government as an obstacle to establishment of independent
    statehood. 66% of the specialists surveyed think that Armenia should
    join NATO within 10-12 years, and 6% of the remainder have difficulty
    in answering. 18% consider the present deployment of Russian bases
    in Armenia the main guarantee for regional stability. 76% do not view
    the Russian military presence in Armenia as such a guarantee, and 6%
    encounter difficulty in responding to the question.

    Fifty experts of various ages and both genders took part in the expert
    opinion poll. 30% of them work at state-run and 70% in non-governmental
    institutions; 72% are male, and 28% female. 18% are 20-30 years old,
    40% 31-40, 32% 41-50, 6% 51-60, and 4% 61-70 years of age. 98% of
    the responding specialists have received higher education. 32% are
    candidates of science (PhD), 2% of whom are full professors, 60% hold
    a Master's degree, while 6% have earned solely a Bachelor's degree.

    The presentations were followed by contributions by Yerevan State
    University sociology professor Zinaida Tokmajian; "Yerkir" weekly's
    editor-in-chief Spartak Seiranian; American University international
    relations professor Khachik Derghoukassian; European Union Chamber
    of Commerce executive director Hovhannes Igityan; Armenian European
    Policy and Legal Advice Center executive director Tigran Jrbashian;
    Avetik Ishkhanian of the Armenian Helsinki Committee; Sevak Lalayan
    of the International Center for Human Development; Armen Aghayan
    of the "Protection of Liberated Territories" public initiative;
    and many others.

    Founded in 1994 by Armenia's first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K.
    Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS
    serves as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy
    challenges facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet
    world. It also aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic
    thinking and a wider understanding of the new global environment. In
    2004, the Center focuses primarily on public outreach, civic education,
    and applied research on critical domestic and foreign policy issues
    for the state and the nation. For further information on the Center or
    the full polling results, call (3741) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (3741)
    52-48-46; e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]; or visit,,