Dr Harry Hagopian is a lawyer who holds a Doctorate in Public International Law and an LL.M in Alternative Dispute (Conflict) Resolution. He is also Middle East Advisor for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in England & Wales and Associate of the Ekklesia think-tank.
Harry works with the Vatican, Lambeth Palace, Majlis El-Hassan and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Jordan, Minority Rights Group International in England, as well as with think tanks, universities and institutes across Europe and North America. Moreover, he contributes to the positions of the Alliance with Christians in Europe (ACEP, Paris) on Middle Eastern issues, as well as being Middle East Resource Person to the pan-European Newropeans political movement. He is a Fellow of many universities.
An Armenian from Jerusalem, Harry worked until 2001 as Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches in Jerusalem where he also held the position of Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee. During this dual tenure, he was a second-track negotiator on behalf of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee. He articulated the collective position of the Churches of Jerusalem over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – particularly relating to Jerusalem during Oslo and subsequent chapters of political negotiations.
Harry’s previous work with the Middle East Council of Churches also encompassed his setting up of a humanitarian aid programme for the refugees of Iran after the Gillan earthquake in 1990, and then again for the refugees from Iraq after the first Gulf war of 1991. Both programmes entailed hands-on involvement, including many visits to Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. The Iraq programme also covered issues of fund-raising, coordination with international partners, “sitreps” as well as strategic analysis and the logistical provision of humanitarian assistance.
In the past decade, Harry served on a number of international organisations, including the Middle East Forum of Churches Together for Britain and Ireland in London, Pax Christi International in Brussels, Bethlehem 2000 Project in Palestine, Christian Aid in London, Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation in Washington DC, United Church of Christ in New York and the Trilateral Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Multi-Faith Forum in Jerusalem.
During his tenure in Jerusalem, Harry was Consultant to the Holy See for the Jubilee 2000 celebrations, working closely on the pilgrimage of Pope John-Paul II to the Holy Land as well as on the Holy See-Palestinian Fundamental Agreement on the Status of the Holy Sites.
A public speaker and writer, his academic works are published internationally, and his articles are posted on several hyperlinks from Al-Jazeera (English) to Huffington Post (UK) & NOW (Lebanon). Harry has written major treatises on the Armenian Genocide and the Nagorny-Karabagh conflict, as well as on Women’s Rights in Islam and on Blasphemy / Apostasy legal cases under Common Law principles. He is presently sweating over a book on the dynamics & future variables of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entitled Past, Present & Future: A Very Minor Man in a Very Major World.