Ambassador Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, recently attended the inaugural ceremony of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, given annually to an individual “whose actions have had an exceptional impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes.”
The ceremony held in Yerevan, Armenia, celebrated the work of Marguerite Barankitse, who has assisted tens of thousands of refugees over more than two decades of violence and humanitarian crisis in Burundi. Protecting human lives from crimes against humanity is a critical issue to Armenians around the world, as 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the 1915 genocide.
Ambassador Djerejian views the Aurora Prize as an important step for Armenians to move beyond victimhood to a role of activism in preventing similar crimes against humanity around the world. His visit came at a tense moment in the Caucasus, as hostilities broke out along the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire line.
As a veteran of a number of conflict negotiations, the ambassador addressed a group of Armenian diplomats at the Foreign Ministry and emphasized the importance of resolving frozen conflicts such as Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing the interest of all parties to move from conflict management to conflict resolution. The ambassador also met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Armenian Catholicos Karekin II and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, as well as students from the American University of Armenia.
To read Ambassador Djerejian's interview with the Armenian media outlet MediaMax, click here.
A Russian translation of the interview is available here.