For three solid and memorable years between 2018 and 2021—at first uplifting and then upsetting for us and our sisters in Armenia and our brothers in Artsakh–the Armenians of America were blessed with the impeccable statesmanship of Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan. Former French Ambassador to Washington, Hervé Alphand, crystallized the quintessential attributes of the consummate diplomat as “a person who can tell the truth to anyone in the government to which he is accredited without offending him, and to anyone in his own government at the risk of offending him.”

Ambassador Nersesyan lived up to that double-gold standard of honesty and integrity and, indeed, to any measure of excellence expected of the upper echelon of Armenia’s diplomatic corps. And during the darkest days of the Artsakh War, and in their continuation and aftermath, when our nation’s adversaries were spinning their tall tales of hypocrisy and deceit, Ambassador Nersesyan stood firm, spoke out, and stayed the course. As Winston Churchill once put it, sometimes “diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”

On July 17, 2021, in recognition of Ambassador Nersesyan’s valuable service to Armenia and to its American diaspora, dozens of members, friends and supporters of the Armenian Bar Association gathered for a warm good-bye and good-wishes reception. The delightful matinée reception, adorned with sumptuous Armenian fare and graceful floral arrangements, took place on the lush grounds of the Barsoomian/Rosenstein residence in Potomac, Maryland. Lisa Barsoomian is a former Armenian Bar Executive Committee Member and her husband, Rod Rosenstein, is a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General and the most recent recipient of the Armenian Bar’s Public Servant Award. Lisa and Rod were key members on one of the Armenian Bar’s early group trips in the 1990s to Armenia to help develop rule of law and legal education initiatives in the homeland.

At the idyllic garden reception, Armenian Bar Chairperson Lucy Varpetian presented Ambassador Nersesyan, who was joined by his wife Narine Malkhasyan, with a special commendation, etched on the rich backdrop of acclaimed artist Seeroon Yeretzian’s traditional peacock illuminations. The inscription appears and reads as follows:

With Washington, D.C. now in his professional rear-view mirror, Ambassador Nersesyan’s immediate sights are locked on London, where he will serve as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Previously, he has served as Assistant to Armenia’s Prime-Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Washington D.C., Head of the External Relations Department of the Armenia’s National Assembly, Head of the OSCE Division at the European Department of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, Head of the Conventional Arms Control Division of the Foreign Ministry, alongside other prestigious postings. Notably, Nersesyan is the recipient of the Medal of “Mkhitar Gosh” by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia. He is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from The Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia.

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2024 International Law Symposium: Call for Papers

The humanitarian crisis for the ethnic Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) [as a result of Azerbaijan’s complete military encirclement, months-long blockade, and, ultimately, the entire Armenian population’s forced migration out of Nagorno-Karabakh] raise oft-ignored questions about the universality and effectiveness of non-derogable international human rights norms. This Call for Papers seeks submissions of abstracts for papers exploring the relationship between human rights and unrecognized or partially recognized States (viz, countries), particularly in connection with the live issues in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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