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AIWA and the united nations


The Armenian International Women's Association (AIWA) continues its active presence as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) at the United Nations in New York, thanks largely to the efforts of our chief representative, Tiana Smilow, who attends meetings regularly, and Joan Agajanian Quinn, who represents AIWA at many UN-sponsored conferences. Other active members of AIWA’s team at the United Nations are Joy Renjilian-Burgy, Barbara Merguerian, and Hasmig Tatiossian.

AIWA is particularly active in such UN affiliates as the Commission on the Status of Women, which sponsors annual conferences in New York in the spring; and UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women. We are affiliated both with UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Department of Public Information (DPI).

Most recently, AIWA hosted a panel discussion about Women and Economic Opportunity: Lessons Learned from Armenia.

Over the years AIWA has organized workshops, often co-sponsored by other international organizations, on a number of topics including 2008’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in Paris  where AIWA member Dr. Ani Kalayjian organized a workshop on the theme “Women’s Rights are Human Rights: Cases from Africa, Caucasus, Europe and the Middle East”. That same year Mariam Nighosian served as facilitator at the Consultation Day program preceding the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women on the topic “Fostering Women’s Entrepreneurship” attracting a large number of women and connecting AIWA with NGOs funding a variety of programs for women around the world.