Newly elected ARS, Inc. Central Executive Board.

The 71st International Convention of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) convened from Sunday, October 4, 2015, until Friday, October 9, 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. During the six days, the convention considered the ARS Central Executive Board’s activities for the past four years, evaluated the activities, and adopted special programs. Along with educational, health, social and assistance programs for the needy, the convention paid particular attention and adopted corresponding resolutions for the following: the crisis in the Middle East; standing in solidarity with our compatriots in Armenia, Artsakh and Javakhk; providing care packages to soldiers; helping border villages with their various issues; the financial hardships facing the ARS Armenian Blue Cross in Greece; and the immediate needs of the other Armenian communities.

The convention concluded by electing the following Central Executive Board (CEB) for the upcoming 2015-2019 period. The CEB elected officers as follows:
Caroline Chamavonian, Chairperson (Eastern USA)
Nyree Derderian, Vice Chairperson (Western USA)
Rita Hintlian, Secretary (Western USA)
Silva Takvorian Kouyoumjian, Treasurer (Eastern USA)
Sonia Akellian, Advisor (Eastern USA)
Liza Avakian, Advisor (Europe)
Alesya Bejanyan, Advisor (Armenia)
Anna Mardikian -Der Hagopian, Advisor (Syria)
Maral Matossian, Advisor (Western USA)
Varsenig Sarkissian, Advisor (Canada)
Nelly Vekilian, Advisor (Lebanon)


The 71st Convention of the Armenian Relief Society stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh), and strongly condemns the Azerbaijani Army’s attacks against innocent civilians in the border villages of Armenia and Artsakh.

The Convention delegates from 22 countries, who are in Yerevan, Armenia are gravely concerned that the Azerbaijani army continues to violate the cease fire agreement and attacks peaceful civilians. Children, women and the elderly, are among the dead and injured following the continuous attacks on the border villages.

The Convention condemns the violations, and requests that the international community and world leaders to make every effort to stop the aggression.

ARS 71st International Convention
October 9, 2015
Yerevan, Armenia


The ARS 71st International Convention Convened in Yerevan, Armenia

Officials and representatives of Armenian organizations.

Officials and representatives of Armenian organizations.

ARS chair Vicky Marachelian delivering her speech.

ARS Chair Vicky Marachelian delivering her speech.

ARS Armenia representative Jenik Barsamyan during her welcoming remarks.

ARS Armenia representative Jenik Barsamyan during her welcoming remarks.

RoA's Minister of Diaspora and ARS Chair signing the formal agreement of cooperation.

RoA’s Minister of Diaspora and ARS Chair signing the formal agreement of cooperation.









The official opening of the 71st International Convention of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS, Inc.) took place on October 4, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Yerevan, Armenia. Several officials were present, including the Republic of Armenia’s (RoA) Minister of the Diaspora, representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau and sister organizations, the director of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD), and ARS supporters, convention delegates and observers.

Remarks were offered by ARS, Inc. Chair, Vicky Marachelian; ARF Bureau member, Hagop DerKhatchadourian; RoA’s Minister of the Diaspora, Hranoush Hagopyan; and representative of ARS Armenia, Jenik Barsamyan.
During the official opening, a formal agreement of cooperation with regards to cultural, educational, and social projects was signed between the Ministry of the Diaspora and the Armenian Relief Society.

The ARS “Ararat” Award of Excellence was bestowed upon Dr. Eleni Theocharous, member of the European Parliament and head of the EU-Armenia group, in appreciation of her voluntary humanitarian and medical assistance during the Artsakh conflict. Currently, Dr. Theocharous continues her dedicated work on a political level while promoting and supporting the Armenian cause at the European Parliament. As a result of her diligent efforts, Dr. Theocharous has also received awards from the Artsakh authorities, the President of the Republic of Armenia, and the Armenian Parliament. In the absence of Dr. Theocharous, the award was presented to the EAFJD Director, Kaspar Garabedian. In her video message presented to the audience, Dr. Theocharous said “The struggle of the Armenians for their nation, their religion, their freedom… their self-determination is great and continues. In this struggle I am an Armenian as well. We are all Armenians… I feel the need to congratulate the ARS in the organization of such important activities. I feel deeply moved and grateful and I want to thank you for remembering, recognizing, and honoring my work with such a prestigious award, but mostly for not forgetting those who adore Armenia”.

The “Ararat” Award of Excellence was established in 2003. It is granted to individuals in recognition of their outstanding commitment to humanitarian endeavors and in deep gratitude for their unsolicited and meritorious service to the Armenian people.

The ARS, Inc. 71st International Convention is taking place from October 4-9 in Yerevan, Armenia. Attending the meeting are delegates elected from 20 regions, as well as observers, invitees, and representatives of sister organizations.