Armenian Refugee organizations bring up urgent topics for discussion at online forum of Cuacasian region's NGO's - 21 February, 2002
An online forum of non-governmental organizations of the North and South Caucases was held within the framework of the "Multifunctional Infoterminal of the NGOs of the Caucasian region" international project. Organizations from Armenia also participated in the forum. All the Armenian participants in the forum were represented by refugee organizations, which brought topical issues concerning refugees for discussion. The "Our Home Armenia" organization criticized the policies being conducted by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) towards non-governmental organizations. The chairman of the organization Nikolay Babajanian thinks that the restriction of the number of the main participants in the DRC programs, which is defined by the accreditation of NGOs to the Geneva conference, limits the development of the entire NGO network as well: "In fact, the process of accreditation is over, and the new organizations not accredited to the DRC programs are assigned the role of figurants, which is not fair." Babajanian also said that the Forum was not conducted with the rules for such a type of event observed. Thus, in his opinion, the discussion on topical issues should be preserved at the Forum in full measure and not in part. The same opinion was expressed by Chairwoman of the "Azarashen" organization Hranush Kharatian, who followed the course of the Forum without taking an immediate part in it. According to her, "someone" diligently strikes off unnecessary subjects and answers. "This is not the way an open conversation is held," Kharatian thinks. The Forum may be considered valid only when it discusses current problems that concern refugees. The "Labor and Charity" organization also participated in the Forum. It raised the problem of qualitative integration of refugees into local conditions and traditions. The "Potential" organization raised the subject of compensation of the property and homes damaged or seized from refugees. This subject is very topical for Armenian refugees. The organization also cited data about partial compensation for property and homes to Azeri refugees from Armenia. The "Yerjanik" organization proposed a joint project "Children of the Caucasus" on upbringing children in the spirit of respect towards other peoples and nations.