The UN and UNFPA, demographic challenges and possible solutions, gender equality and domestic violence, contraception and reproductive health – all these were among topics covered by Mr. Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia Assistant Representative, in his lecture for the students of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary.
The lecture was facilitated by the Armenia Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation (ARTF). Prof. Karen Nazaryan, Executive Director of ARTF introduced the speaker to the students.
Mr. Hayrapetyan spoke about the UN and its role and structure, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UNFPA mandate. He also explained both the global and local demographic trends, and challenges that Armenia faces. Particular attention was paid to the issues of gender inequality and prenatal sex selection, domestic violence and the negative effects, including economic, that they have on the country. UNFPA Assistant Representative also spoke about modern means of contraception and their role in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
The lecture naturally raised many questions and debate that continued even after it was concluded.
“We hope that you become our trusted allies in dealing with these issues,” said Mr. Hayrapetyan.
It is already six years, since UNFPA Armenia has started its fruitful cooperating with ARTF and, through them, with the Armenian Apostolic Church, the second most trusted institution in Armenia after the army. The cooperation mainly focused on the issues of gender equality, gender-based and domestic violence, as well as prenatal sex selection.
The Gevorkian Seminary is a theological school-college of the Armenian Apostolic Church founded by Catholicos Gevorg IV in 1874. It is located in the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) within the complex of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia. It is the only institution in Armenia with a status of an Institution of Higher Religious Education. A number of prominent Armenians have lectured at the Seminary, including Hrachya Adjarian, Manuk Abeghian, and Komitas.