Bako Sahakyan, the president of the stage of transition from semi-presidential to presidential governance in Artsakh has approved the new structure of the government of Artsakh where the interesting news is the ministry of resettlement.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs will be restructured to the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Resettlement.
On the other hand, it is not clear whether the ministry will be such or will be called such. However, the fact that Artsakh already has a ministry of resettlement is a significant fact though there have been statements, decisions, different steps on the resettlement policy at the state level. Artsakh has implemented a resettlement policy for a long time. In this case, the question is what will change in terms of efficiency. Is this just a declarative renaming or is Stepanakert transitioning to a new level or scope of policy by giving the process a status of a ministry? It is beyond doubt that Artsakh needs a more dynamic and large-scale policy. It is definitely determined by issues relating to resources or finance. On the other hand, to say that what has been done so far is the objective maximum would be self-deception.
Interestingly, the forming of a ministry of resettlement in the government of Artsakh is happening in the context of proclamation of a proportionate goal – repatriation.
Serzh Sargsyan announced during the Homeland-Diaspora Conference that Armenia is mature enough to set such an objective and to achieve it. Sargsyan repeated the vision of increasing the population of Armenia to 4 million by 2040.
To achieve this vision, he appeals for pan-Armenian support. How interrelated are the processes of repatriation of Armenia and resettlement of Artsakh? Are they two “hemispheres”, “communicating vessels”? Whatever the wording or definition, it is beyond doubt that repatriation and resettlement have be seen as one matter, one holistic process, and in this sense they must be inevitably seen as a whole.
It is another issue that in the purely legal and political context Armenia must use the word “repatriation” but without including and more deeply and thoroughly discussing the issue of resettlement of Artsakh in pan-Armenian discussions the process of repatriation will be incomplete.
In fact, it is another issue as to how practical and urgent the task is for the Armenian government and to what extent it is pure propaganda. This is another issue but the problem is clear in terms of a merely declared and stated purpose, and repatriation to Armenia and resettlement of Artsakh cannot be separate terms.
At the same time, the question occurs as to whether Armenia will set up a ministry of repatriation in Armenia. At least, its existence will be more logical than the existence of the Ministry of Diaspora. Moreover, in the case of the so-called pan-Armenian council that Serzh Sargsyan has proposed to the Diaspora.
The existence of the pan-Armenian council will make meaningless the existence of the Ministry of Diaspora, its appropriateness. At the same time, it will be at least funny to just rename the ministry. Yes, it will not produce another effect but distort the purpose or idea of resettlement.
Moreover, it is not indisputable that setting the goal of repatriation requires setting up a ministry. Simply the question is interesting against the existence of the ministry of resettlement in the new government of Artsakh.