ARS Fund for Syrian Armenian Relief


In view of the most recent attacks on September 30, 2016, on Armenian populated areas of Aleppo, which resulted in the death of five members of that already stricken community, the Armenian Relief Society expresses its deep sorrow, extending its condolences to their families.

To this end, we appeal to our community and friends to take part in our ongoing humanitarian efforts with contributions to the ARS Syrian-Armenian Relief programs. Your participation, at this hour, is essential to keep the momentum of our emergency relief efforts to a community which must, with all means, survive these tragic circumstances.

For donations, please visit:

Ի տես Հալէպի հայաբնակ շրջաններու վրայ ներկայիս սաստկացող յարձակումներուն, որոնց հետեւանքով սեպտեմբեր 30, 2016ին զոհ գացին հինգ հայորդիներ, Հայ Օգնութեան Միութիւնը իր խորին ցաւակցութիւնները կը յայտնէ արդէն իսկ վիրաւոր գաղութի մը, որուն փրկութիւնը անհրաժեշտ է հայութեան համար։

Այս ուղղութեամբ, կոչ կ՛ուղենք մեր բոլո՛ր հայրենակիցներուն մասնակցելու ՀՕՄի Սուրիահայութեան Օժանդակութեան ընդհանուր ծրագրին, հասնելու համար նորանոր զոհերու եւ անոնց հարազատներուն անմիջական կարիքներուն։

Ձեր օժանդակութեան համար այցելել՝


#ars1910 #savealife


Statement on Atrocities Against Fallen Soldiers

Arstakh Stron Web coverFollowing the ceasefire – requested by the very same Azeri Government, who a few days before had unleashed an unprovoked, brutal attack against the peaceful population of Artsakh — on April 10, to be exact, at the exchange proceedings of the bodies of soldiers fallen on the battlefield, the participants in this grim task came face to face with the horror of atavistic barbarism, committed by the Azeri military.

The exchange, arranged and conducted under the supervision of representatives of the International Red Cross and commissions connected with the efforts of a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict, revealed that the bodies of all the 18 Armenian soldiers had been horribly mutilated by decapitation, dismemberment and other despicable acts of desecration.

The beastly nature of these inhuman acts is an insult to all that a civilized world believes in.   Indeed, precisely to prevent atrocities of this sort, over decades of soul-searching, enlightened legislators have come up with laws and regulations to rein in the brutality of war. All civilized nations are signatory to these rules, amongst which   we can mention in particular, the Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (1949), Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949), the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), and the United States “Leahy” Law, protecting the rights of frontline soldiers.

As a globally present and active Armenian humanitarian organization, the Armenian Relief Society — a longtime member of the UN’s Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC), and an advocate of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights – cannot just stand by and be indifferent to the atrocities committed by the Azeri hordes against peaceful populations and the inert bodies of soldiers fallen on the field of honor.

Therefore, we vehemently condemn the war crimes committed by the Azeri armed forces during their savage campaign against the people of Artsakh, asking all civilized nations to join us in condemning Azerbaijan’s unprovoked aggression against peaceful Armenian populations and the ravages caused by indiscriminate shelling and bombing of harmless villages and their residents.

Presently, our main concern is to alleviate the desperate needs of the stricken communities by securing shelter, medicine, clothing and other essentials, to restore normal life, in a secure and peaceful environment. To this end, the Armenian Relief Society is engaged in a nation-wide fundraising program to realize the funds needed for a short and long range campaign of reconstruction and rehabilitation, working closely with the Artsakh and Armenian authorities.

Please make your donation at, or make a check payable to ARS Inc. with a memo for “ARS Support for Artsakh Fund” and mail to: ARS CEB Office, 80 Bigelow Ave. #300, Watertown, MA 02472. Outside the US, please contact your local ARS regional office or chapter.


CALL TO ACTION for Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh)

In view of the situation
in the somber aftermath of the belated
cease-fire, in view of the ravaged villages
and hamlets in the line of enemy fire, the military
and civilian casualties and the bereaved families
and orphaned children of our beloved Artsakh,
the Armenian Relief Society
deems its duty to call upon every Armenian
to humanitarian action, in order to relieve the pain
and suffering that the treacherous, unprovoked
Azeri aggression has caused our sisters and brothers
over the past few days of infamy.

There is no question, that it is our duty
to extend our moral and material support to each
and every wounded soldier and their loved ones,
to each and every civilian casualty and their
families, to each family that is left without shelter,
their homes destroyed by enemy shells.
This is the time for benevolent action,
as one nation, united forever.

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STATEMENT – Attacks on Nagorno Karabagh’s and Armenia’s Borders

For almost two years now, the gradually increasing attacks of the Azeri armed forces on Nagorno Karabagh’s and Armenia’s units guarding the borders – targeting also villages and towns located next to the conflict areas – are becoming more frequent and more furious.
Over the past week-end, with coordinated use of heavy artillery, armored vehicles and air support, the powers in Baku once more staged an unprovoked act of aggression, endangering the already tenuous cease-fire status. Let us be thankful by stating that, sustaining considerable losses in casualties and materiel, the aggressors retreated after crashing against the unshakable defensive line of the Armenian forces.

As a global, internationally active Armenian humanitarian organization, the Armenian Relief Society, founded on the principles of the International Red Cross and Crescent, as well as the Geneva Convention and the United Nations Organization’s Declaration of Human Rights, based on the civilized world’s universal human values, the Armenian Relief Society cannot stay indifferent in view of murderous attacks on schoolchildren and peaceful, harmless populations.

Unanimously with all decent peoples, we condemn the indiscriminating armed attacks targeting Armenian populations, the number of whose innocent victims – killed, wounded and maimed — keeps increasing with every murderous attack. Therefore, We call upon all international and all non-governmental entities to express their revulsion in view of the continuous bloodshed caused by these premeditated actions of violence.

April 2, 2016

ARS 5th International Cruise – Greetings in Buenos Aires and Montevideo…

It is amazing in how many ways the ARS moves forward its global activities! Sometimes its actual involvement is so vast, it seems to encompass a lot more than its declared programs. Yet, so much actual, visible and complete results are achieved, that its living presence is overwhelming as truly humanitarian endeavor, realized wherever and whenever needed.

The International Cruise is one of the occasions where the ARS melds the entertaining with the benevolent, which results in channeling necessary assistance to the needy – an interesting and efficient way of reaching humanitarian goals in a mutually agreeable way.

This year, the ARS 5th International Cruise – unlike previous ones – sailed around the shores of South America, instead of European ports. Lifting anchor at Buenos Aires, on March 13, it sailed to Uruguay, where after visits to Montevideo and Punta del Este, headed to Argentinian Patagonia’s Puerto Madrin and Usuwaya, from where it set sail for Chile, Cabo de Ornos, Punta Arenas, the Straight of Magajanes, Puerto Mont, reaching Valparaiso, where it concluded its cruise on March 27. Arranged by the ARS Central Executive Board, all musical entertainment on board was rendered by the Argentinian musician Edgardo Sarian and vocalist Alejandro Chipian.

In Buenos Aires, as the host region, the ARS/South America Regional Executive, with local chapters and the Cruse committee, organized welcoming events for the participants of the Cruise.

On Saturday, March 12, a visit to Tigre took place for those who had arrived in Buenos Aires before the Cruise would set sail. On this occasion, the group visited san Isidro, a suburb of Buenos Aires, including the local historic cathedral, after which, in boats sailing from the Tigre marina, they sailed around scenic islands, stopping for lunch at the famous Gato Blanco restaurant on the banks of the river Capitan. That evening, upon return to Buenos Aires, the group went to the “Senor Tango” restaurant to enjoy dinner and an unforgettable performance by Tango singers and dancers.

On Sunday, March 13, after registering on board the Cruise ship “Rhapsody of the Seas” of the Royal Caribbean International, the voyagers of the 5th ARS International Cruise – majority of whom hailed from Canada, the United States, Australia and various parts of Europe, visited the Armenian quarter of the Palermo Suburb, concentrating mostly on the ARS “O. Bodourian-O. Diarbekirian” Seniors’ Home and the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.

Then the group paid a visit to the ARF “Eduardo Seferian” Club, where took place a welcoming reception with the participation of the cruisers and representatives of the community’s prominent organizations. The event’s hostess, Marie Ebekian’s welcoming remarks were followed by the Anthems of Argentina, Armenia and the Armenian Relief Society. The youngsters of the ARS “Shirak” Dance Ensemble presented the “Shiraki Sharon”, “Sareri Hovin” and the “Yarkhushta” dances, under the supervision of their teachers, Therese Sarksian and Vahram Hambadzumian, with the assistance of Diana Balasanian.

In the name of the Cruise Committee, Dr. Graciela Kevorkian introduced an audiovisual piece covering the history and accomplishments of the ARS/South America through the devoted efforts of its membership. The Tango, also, made a presence at this function through the talents of vocalist Valeria Chelekian and dancers Laura Corrado Misirlian and Damian Eseyl, who presented a piece called “Ballada para un loco”.

The message of the ARS/South America Regional Executive was conveyed by the Chairperson, Arpine Karamanougian, which was followed by an audiovisual presentation of the activities of the Buenos Aires Armenian community.

The message of the ARS Central Executive Board was delivered by CEB member, Sonia Akelian, who had flown from the United States to take part in the Cruise.

Once more, Armenian music lifted the spirits through vocalist Valeria Cherekian’s beautiful voice, singing “Yare martu yar gouda” and “Menq enq mer sarere”. Then, the ARS “Nayiri” Dance Ensemble, under the guidance of Therese Sarksyan and Vahram Hampardzoumian, presented the “Qochari”, “Yes im anoush Hayastani” and “Aragatz” dances, at the end of which, His Eminence Kisag Archbishop Mouradian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Sees of Argentina and Chile, concluded the program with a prayer.

After this emotionally invigorating proceedings, a greetings dinner/banquet was attended by all at the “Armenia” Restaurant of the ARF “Eduardo Seferian” Club. The evening stretched well into the night, entertained by vocalist Valeria Cherekian’s renditions of traditional and contemporary Armenian songs, as well as local Tango music and dancing, often accompanied by the guests.

The next day, on Monday, March 14, the participants toured Buenos Aires, visiting historic parts of the city. Finally, that same evening, the cruise ship lifted anchor, sailing towards the Uruguay shores, reaching port on Tuesday morning, March 15. In Montevideo, Uruguay, the ARS “Roubina” Chapter had organized visits to the “Nersesian” National School, the Prelacy and Church of the Uruguay Armenian Apostolic Church, as well as the ARF Vramian Club. In the evening, the ship and the voyagers set sail towards the last port of the cruise.

No doubt, that the participants in the ARS 5th International Cruise will long remember the warm welcomes and hospitality extended to them by the Armenian communities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, as their initial touristic experience on the scenic shores of South America.PR06_20160401 _ 1 _ Tigre

PR06_20160401 _ 3 _ S.Krikor Lusavorich

PR06_20160401 _ 4 _  ARF tadron

PR06_20160401 _ 6 _  V.Cherekian

PR06_20160401 _ 7 _  Tango dance

Sonia Akellian, ARS Central Executive Board Member

Sonia Akellian, ARS Central Executive Board Member

PR06_20160401 _ 10 _  ARF tadron

PR06_20160401 _ 11 _  Shirag

ARS Nairy Dance Ensemble

ARS Nairy Dance Ensemble

PR06_20160401 _ 13 _  Montevideo 1

Group Photo in Montevideo

Group Photo in Montevideo

St. Krikor Lousavorich Church

St. Krikor Lousavorich Church

Dr. Graciela Kevorkian

Dr. Graciela Kevorkian

Arpine Karamanougian

Arpine Karamanougian

Uplifting Women from Poverty ARS CSW Presentation In New York

The Armenian Relief Society Inc. (ARS) in collaboration with the Mission of Armenia to the UN held a side event during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) entitled, “Uplifting Women from Poverty Through Partnerships” on March 14, 2016, at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City, NY.

The side event was started with an introductory speech by H.E. Ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. Ambassador Mnatskanyan, highlighted the importance of the Commission on the Status of Women and spoke of the commitment of Member States to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He further went on to introduce the ARS by stating the following, “…how very excited I am to welcome you all to this side event that we have initiated with the ARS a long standing partner of our mission here at the UN and a very active participant on the work of the UN especially on issues which concern the agenda on the Commission of Sustainable Development”.

Dr. Nyree Derderian Vice-Chairperson to the ARS Central Executive Board served as moderator to the event. She spoke of a recent development project taken on by the ARS with the Russian Federation, Armenia and UNDP. This project is taking place in the Tavush region of Armenia and is meant to uplift women from poverty by focusing on SDG 1 (poverty eradication), SDG 2 (hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (employment) and SDG 17 (partnerships).

The list of panelists of the event included the Senior Adviser of UNFPA, Mr. Michael Herrman; the founder of ONEArmenia, Mr. Patrick Sarkissian; the co-founder of Harvest Song Artisanal Preserves, Ms. Sylvia Tirakian; the founder of Meline’s Garden, a startup initiative introducing quinoa to Armenia by Ms. Taline Kevonian; and the Manager of UN Women/Empower Women, Ms. Anna Falth. Each panelist spoke of his or her work and on going projects.

The event ended with a lively question and answer session and was attended by a large number of member states, UN agencies, and ARS and other NGO leaders and members. The purpose of the event was to bring together those interested in the promotion of the empowerment of women through programs and projects that increase sustainability and inclusive growth. The Armenian Relief Society is a proud participant and member of the CSW and will continue efforts to empower women in Armenia and many other parts of the world.

For anyone interested in seeing the event, it can be viewed on UN live webcast TV at the following link:…csw60-side-event/4801920201001

H.E. Ambassador Mnatsakanyan giving introductory remarks

H.E. Ambassador Mnatsakanyan giving introductory remarks

Moderator and Panelists of the event, from left to right, Ungeroohi Nyree Derderian Vice-Chair of the ARS Central Executive Board. The Senior Adviser of UNFPA, Mr. Michael Herrman, the founder of ONEArmenia, Mr. Patrick Sarkissian, the co-founder of Harvest Song Artisanal Preserves, Ms. Sylvia Tirakian the founder of Meline’s Garden, a startup initiative introducing quinoa to Armenia by Ms. Taline Kevonian, and the Manager of Empower Women Ms. Anna Falth

Moderator and Panelists of the event, from left to right, Ungeroohi Nyree Derderian Vice-Chair of the ARS Central Executive Board. The Senior Adviser of UNFPA, Mr. Michael Herrman, the founder of ONEArmenia, Mr. Patrick Sarkissian, the co-founder of Harvest Song Artisanal Preserves, Ms. Sylvia Tirakian the founder of Meline’s Garden, a startup initiative introducing quinoa to Armenia by Ms. Taline Kevonian, and the Manager of Empower Women Ms. Anna Falth

ARS  Central Executive Board and committee members with Ambassador Mnatsakanyan and several panelists of the side event

ARS Central Executive Board and committee members with Ambassador Mnatsakanyan and several panelists of the side event

General view of the conference room at the UN

General view of the conference room at the UN

March 8, 2016 -International Women Day

This “Day”, started since more than a century ago, on every March 8, has brought together women of the civilized world to raise their voices collectively, under one banner, in demand of equal rights.

Thus, in New York City, six years before World War I, in March, 1908, around 1,500 placard-bearing women were marching for an increase of meager wages, a decrease of long working hours, and the right to vote, thus far an unreachable goal for them.

This unprecedented phenomenon was unraveling in the very same city of the New World, where, barely two years later, Aknuni, an ARF field worker, was to found a vigorous women’s organization, the present global structure of which is today known as Armenian Relief Society.
Over the years, across the progressive countries of Europe and the American Continent, this international “Day” of women, moving ahead with the robust progress of International Socialism, was to gain international recognition, enhancing the on-going struggle for the legitimation of women’s human, social, and political rights.

Here, we can proudly mention, that long before many “progressive” countries of the day, in the year 1918, the Constitution of the First Republic of Armenia already recognized and put to practice the equality of men and women in the right to vote, and be elected.
It is sad to say, that in spite of certain progress achieved in various areas, there is a long road ahead of us before legitimized rights are put to practice in the real world, both on the socioeconomic and political levels.

To this day, women’s inalienable rights remain out of reach in many countries, prompting the United Nations Organization’s Committee of the Status of Women (CSW) –in which the ARS remains active, in the ranks of the Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC) –to annually convene an international conference to examine assess and improve the status of women everywhere; a conference, to which the ARS brings its active participation on all levels.

On this occasion, the ARS Central Executive Board extends its best wishes to its diligent entities throughout the world, to all Armenian mothers, sisters and daughters actively involved in implementing ARS-initiated programs in the Diaspora and the Homeland, encouraging them to continue their struggle until the realization of a just and egalitarian world society, where men, women and children are equally guaranteed a free, productive and prosperous life.

ARS Participates at the 54th Session of the UN CSocD in New York

The 54th session of the Commission on Social Development (CSocD) took place from Feb. 3-12 at the United Nations (U.N.) Headquarters in New York. The priority theme for the session—”Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World”—aimed to identify new opportunities for sustainable development and provide concrete, forward-looking policy recommendations. It also articulated key inter-linkages between the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

CSocD54 assembled a multi-stakeholder panel discussion which explored how existing UN institutional frameworks could contribute to strengthening the mainstreaming of disability, enhance awareness and improve cooperation to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Agenda 2030 puts poverty and sustainable development at its core and emphasizes a people-centered, unified and coherent approach. Strengthening social policy and development was emphasized as it is critical to ensure an integrated follow-up, balancing its social, economic and environmental dimensions.

As promising as the program and participants sounded, this year Civil Society felt an unprecedented exclusion to the process. Although they were allowed to make statements during some of the sessions, no Civil Society representatives were allowed in any of the negotiations of the resolutions. This, after many promises from member states on the board including representatives from Rumanian and Portuguese Missions. How will member states implement this agenda without Civil Society participation? That was a question till the closing session on Friday February 12. As Ms. Elisabeta David, Diplomatic Counsellor of Rumanian Mission said during one of the Civil Society briefings, “I must be an optimist that we will deliver on this agenda with the help of Civil Society, we were honored to host the regional meetings and saw the influence in our community, we hope to see more of that kind of cooperation in the future”.

But as of the printing of this report Civil society organizations have yet to see the agreed upon resolutions.

Armenian Relief Society, Inc. (ARS) U.N./NGO Committee representatives were present at the Civil Society Forum, titled “Inequalities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Rethinking and Strengthening Social development in the Contemporary World,” on Feb. 1-2.

ARS U.N./NGO Committee representatives had concrete recommendations for the commission on understanding the relationship between CSocD and Agenda 2030, and making the link between governments and grassroots.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

NGO Committee Social Development Civil Society Forum

NGO Committee Social Development Civil Society Forum