THIS WEEK IN ARMENIAN HISTORY
(Prepared by the Armenian National Education Committee)
Armenia becomes a member of the United Nations
(March 2, 1992)
The Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia declared the independence of Armenia by 213 votes to 0 on September 23, after the popular referendum of September 21 had answered with an overwhelming “Yes” to the question whether Armenians wanted independence.
The three Baltic republics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) had been incorporated into the United Nations in September 1991, and thus, Lithuania recognized the independence of Armenia in November. However, international recognition essentially started after December 10, 1991, the date when the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was officially dissolved. Ironically, Turkey was among the first countries to recognize Armenian independence on December 24, 1991, one day before the United States, but has refused to establish diplomatic relations until the present.
The Republic of Armenia officially applied for membership in the United Nations on January 23, 1992. Six days later, the U.N. Security Council discussed the application of Armenia in its session 3035 and advised the U.N. General Assembly to incorporate the newly independent Republic as a member (resolution 735, January 29, 1992).
On March 2, 1992, Ambassador Samir S. Shihabi of Saudi Arabia opened the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly as its president. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali placed on the agenda the application of nine countries, eight of them former Soviet republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirguizia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), as well as San Marino, which previously had enjoyed observer status. The Republic of Armenia was represented by Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian; Armenian ambassador to the United Nations, Alexander Arzumanian, and Armenian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Armen Sargsyan. Some 30 representatives of the Armenian American community were also attending, including Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, of blessed memory.
The need to find a solution to the ongoing crisis of Karabagh was noted by the representatives of the United States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Russian Federation, and the European Community. Foreign Minister Hovannisian spoke and, after greeting those present in Armenian, continued speaking in English and declared that Armenia wanted a peaceful resolution of the issue.
The resolution 46/227 of the General Assembly was approved on the same day. Due to the civil war, the membership of Georgia was to be approved in July 1992.
The representatives of the invited countries, led by Boutros-Ghali, were invited to the ceremony of the raising of the flags at 1:30 p.m. Thousands of Armenians had gathered outside the United Nations headquarters and their overwhelming applause greeted Raffi Hovannisian while he raised the Armenian flag. The tricolor floating in front of the United Nations became a symbol of Armenia’s membership in the international community.
In remembrance of this historic date, the government of the Republic of Armenia issued a resolution on March 23, 2012, which established March 2 as the day of the diplomat of the Republic of Armenia.