September 13, 2011
Meeting of the Armenian participants of three Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forums
Yerevan—The meeting of Armenian participants Eastern Partnership (EaP) Brussels, Berlinand Poznan Civil Society Forums (CSF) was initiated by EaP CSF Armenian Coordinator, President of Helsinki Committee of Armenia Avetik Ishkhanyan on September 13th, 2011. The National Citizens’ Initiative coordinator Hovsep Khurshudyan participated in the meeting.
The meeting agenda included the following:
In his opening speech Avetik Ishkhanyan addressed the agenda of the meeting and the further activities of the Armenian National Platform of the EaP CSF.
Afterwards member of the CSF Steering Committee, President of the Yerevan Press Club Boris Navasardyan introduced the reworked version of the CSF National Platform Charter which after inclusion of comments given by meeting participants will become the acting Charter of the National Platform. The participants agreed to finalize works on the Charter prior to Poznan Forum.
The results of the monitoring of the EaP implementation were introduced by the Executive Director of Transparency International –Armenia Varuzhan Hoktanyan, Deputy Chairman of the Communities Finance Officers Association, David Tumanyan, President of Helsinki Committee of Armenia Avetik Ishkhanyan, President of Women’s Association with University Education Jemma Hasratyan, Expert of the Yerevan Press Club Arevhat Grigoryan, Head of the Association For the Sustainable Human Development Karine Danielyan, Executive Director of the Open Society Armenia Foundations Larisa Minasyan.
Mr. Hoktanyan particularly has mentioned that although there were certain legislative changes in sphere of fight against corruption, however stated that there are serious concerns regarding implementation. The importance of the anti-corruption strategy and of implementation of that strategy was also mentioned.
Mr. Tumanyan has informed the participants that the development of the Community Development Strategy is in process and that there are NGOs involved in the process.
While introducing the monitoring of reforms in sphere of human rights and penitentiary system Mr. Ishkhanyan has particularly mentioned about the RA law on §Freedom of Assemblies¦, the 2010 report of the European committee on Tortures and inhumane or degrading treatment to dignity or punishment prevention, as well as about the impartiality of the Armenian courts.
The issue of gender situation in Armenia was presented by Jemma Hasratyan, the chair of the Women’s Association with University Education. She mentioned that the CSF National Platform of Armenia should promote the gender equality in relevant structures, especially the local government bodies.
The situation with the freedom of expression was presented by Arevhat Grigoryan, an expert from Yerevan Press Club. She mentioned that in 2010 there have been quite many cases of violence against journalist, but no punishment has been applied.
The environmental issues were presented by Karine Danielyan who emphasized that there is no way to change something in the framework of current system as the decisions are made with no consideration of public opinion.
The reporters also mentioned that the issues raised in the reports done within the Eastern Partnership program are very general, and the negative part is presented in a restrained mode.
The following people participated in the discussions on the CSF and National Platform concepts Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan (Eurasia Partnership Foundation), Larisa Minasyan (Open Society Foundations-Armenia), Boris Navasardyan (Yerevan Press Club), Sona Ayvazyan (§Transparency International¦ anti-corruption center). It was agreed that the discussion will be continued during the forthcoming meetings.
The draft of the regulation of the EaP CSF National Platform was also discussed during the meeting and was positively evaluated by Hovsep Khurshudyan (Civil National Initiative), Artak Kirakosyan (Civil Society Institute), Anahit Gevorgyan (Martuni Women’s Community Council) and Armine Tukhikyan (§Urban¦ Sustainable development foundation). As well as several suggestions was made by them.
There was a wide discussion on the issue of criteria for NGOs inclusion into the National Platform. Several suggestions were made for the improvement of the document. As a result, it was decided that the National Platform will be open to all the NGOs which will come up with their initiatives and ideas. Meanwhile, it was underlined, that there is a need in such a system of the National Platform activity which would ensure the relevance of the initiatives of the Armenian National Platform to the purposes and priorities of the EaP CSF.
As a result of discussions it was decided to rename the presented Draft of the Charter of the EaP Armenian National Platform into Draft of Organizational Principles of the Armenian National Platform.
The voting was attended by 22 delegates out of 23 who had participated in the 3 meetings of the CSF. As a result, the Draft of Organizational Principles of the Armenian National Platform was voted unanimously. It was also decided to e-mail the delegates attending the meeting through their e-mail addresses the edited version of the Draft of Organizational Principles of the Armenian National Platform. In case of no new suggestions, it would be accepted as a final one.
At the end of the meeting Avetik Ishkhanyan, the coordinator of the CSF Armenian National Platform thanked everybody for their active participation in the discussions.