2011 Events Calendar
Opening the doors of policy-making: South Caucasus and Central Asia: AAA expert Astghik Injeyan participated in “Opening the Doors of Policy-Making in the South Caucasus and Central Asia” training session followed by regional networking conference, which took place on 2-5 June, 2011 in Istanbul. The training was a part of the two-year long project “Opening the doors of policy-making: South Caucasus and Central Asia”. The event included training on research methodology, data management and strategy, think-tank administration, and how to create and implement a business plan for an NGO. The training was followed by two days of networking with representatives of established think-tanks and civil society NGOs from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including several members of the PASOS network. Participants came from South Caucasus and Central Asia countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The project seeks to empower civil society organizations and to enhance public participation in public policy development. It aims to strengthen CSOs, foster regional networking, and promote sustained dialogue with policymakers. The initiative is supported by a grant from The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
NATO Educational video bridges in Armenian regions June 21-28, 2011 :The Armenian Atlantic Association with its youth branch Armenian Youth Atlantic Association organized educational rallies through the mechanism which had a great success during last NATO week, called "video bridge". Taking into consideration the positive outcomes of last years' experiences, this year AAA enlarged the geography for more Armenian regions and organized 6 video-conferences in regional universities with partners in NATO countries on June 21-28, 2011. During those events the students focused on the discussion of NATO-Armenia relations, the mission of the organization and other NATO related topics.

The project took place in Ijevan, Gyumri, Gavar, Yeghegnadzor, Sisian, Kapan and Yerevan. Video bridges were conducted with partners in NATO countries, which included Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom, Greek Atlantic Association, etc. On 24th June 2011 the third videoconference was held in Gavar State University with Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, President of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation and with the Association's interns. The videoconference was attended by Ms. Despina-Ino Afentouli, Information Officer for Greece in NATO Public Diplomacy Division, who joined the event in Gavar. Over 40 students from Gavar State University participated in the videoconference and had questions and answers sessions with their peers from Greek Atlantic Association. On the Armenian side, question topics included the relationship between Armenia and the NATO, the role of women in security, the probability of future Armenia-NATO partnership and the benefits of such inclusion, NATO peacekeeping operations. On the Greek side, questions concerned the Armenian public opinion regarding NATO, the perception of youth about NATO and its activities, etc. Students as well as the featured guests responded to questions and a lively discussion was held. The open, transparent and equal exchange of opinions during the video bridge allowed the participants to have rather objective and deep approach regarding the NATO and its mission in Armenia avoiding the subjective stereotypes based opinions.

The video is available here.
Summer Academy StudiesAYAA young member Armine Hakhinyan participated in Summer Academy for NATO, European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy (EU CFSP) studies in Prishtina – Skopje – Tirana – Podgorica on 14 – 30 August, 2011. The objective of this summer academy was to provide students a broad understanding on the historical development, the security, social, political and philosophical dimensions of the Euro-Atlantic integration process.
Yerevan-Athens video-bridge, October 21, 2011. In the frames of NATO Week in Armenia 2011, Armenian Atlantic Association with its Youth branch initiated a video-conference in Yerevan on 21st October 2011. Armenian Atlantic Association had pleasure to invite Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation with its youth representatives, interns to attend the video-conference. During the video-conference the participants focused on the discussion of NATO-Armenia, NATO-Greece relations, the mission of associations, economical, trafficking issues, recent developments in Lybia, the role of women and security and other NATO related topics. The open, transparent and equal exchange of opinions during the video bridge allowed the participants to have interesting and challenging live discussion.
Flash mob on "Skewed Sex Ratio of Births in Armenian", December 7, 2011. On 7th of December Armenian Youth Atlantic Association in cooperation with International Center for Human Development organized an outdoor action: flash mob on a theme "Skewed Sex Ratio of Births in Armenia". The action took place in North Avenue and Abovyan street crossroad. During the flash mob two ribbons were tied. The participants of flash mob asked the passing bye citizens' to tie those amount and color (pink and blue) of balloons depending on how many and what gender children they have and on the other ribbon those amount and color of balloons depending on how many and what gender children they would like to have. During the flash mob participants asked the passer bye male to wear symbolic white ribbons, which is a way of saying, "Our future without any violence against women." The action was organized in the framework of UNFPA "16 days of Activities Against Gender Violence".

For about 100 citizens took part in the activity: young men and the old. The media also took part and broadcasted all the actions. At the end of the event all the balloons were released into the air.
57th Atlantic Treaty Association General Assembly, November 14-17, 2011. AYAA coordinator Astghik Injeyan participated in the 57th Atlantic Treaty Association General Assembly, which took place in Tirana, Albania, on November 14-17, 2011. The theme of this ATA Assembly Program was "Tackling new Security challenges with Partners".

From Dr. Starova's opening remarks right through to the closing speech by the Albanian Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Dr. Sali Berisha, the participants were reminded of the intense security challenges that face in North Atlantic world, from physical and cyber threats, suppression of human rights and freedoms, through natural disasters, to financial and economic challenges. For any country to face these challenges alone would be impossible, but in partnership with others who share the values and/or interests, the tasks may become more manageable.
Public Diplomacy workshop "NATO's Communication Challenges and Partner Countries", 13-14 December 2011. AYAA coordinator Astghik Injeyan was invited to participate in NATO's Public Diplomacy Division workshop held in NATO Headquarters in Brussels, on December 13-14, 2011. From NATO and smart defense, NATO's engagement in Afghanistan, to NATO's communication practices were discussed and presented by NATO Officials. A special certificate day-long training session on effective communication and public relations management was delivered for the workshop participants by Chartered Institute of Public Relations, UK.

The workshop was an excellent opportunity to receive an update from prominent Public Diplomacy practitioners on conceptual novelties in this domain, to exchange national experiences and elaborate more on ways to enhance the communication efforts.
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