50 organizations were represented to discuss
A forum was held in Yerevan last week aimed at
strengthening civil society among countries of
the former Soviet Union.
Organized by the International Council on Social
Welfare (ICSW) and Mission Armenia non-governmental
organizations, the forum attracted about 50 organizations
representing members of the Black Sea Economic
The forum offered civil society organizations
of the Black Sea Region an opportunity to gather
in one place and join forces in the name of social
welfare in the region, said Mission Armenia president
The majority of BSEC member countries are former
Soviet republics (Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia,
Azerbaijan), which experience the same socioeconomic
"Former notions that a country must satisfy
its people's needs alone have given way today
to clear realization of the fact that ensuring
people's development requires active involvement
and cooperation of civil society including both
individuals and organizations," said president
of ICSW Solveig Askjem
Under the motto, "overcoming poverty and
creating stable development in the region"
participants paid attention to such problems as
development, unemployment, problems of refugees
and old people.
"All presented social problems must be
solved," Kirakosyan said. "There can't
be economic development without social development.
If there is a consistent economic growth then
it means that it is a self-aimed enhancement of
the economic growth."
ICSW has members in 70 countries where the organization
cooperates with the United Nations, the Council
of Europe and BSEC for bringing into life the
goals of the council.
"This is our first program in Armenia,"
Askjem said. "We will make a research to
find out what problems require urgent solution
in the region and after that we will seek financial
resources for that work."