The National Citizens' Initiative


The National Citizens Initiative

The National Citizens Initiative, a public nonprofit association, was founded in December 2001 by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K. Hovannisian, his colleagues, and fellow citizens.

The Initiative has been launched with the purpose of realizing the rule of law and overall improvements in the state of the state, society, and public institutions. This entails resolution of several key issues:

  • Engagement and empowerment of citizens in public life;
  • Contemporary reproduction of national values and instruction of individual liberties and civil rights and responsibilities;
  • Practical measures for the strengthening of democracy and democratic standards by means of public initiatives, example-setting activities and their propagation;
  • Programs for the systematic institution of human rights protection, for the civic education of all generations, especially the youth, and for meaningful facilitation of citizens' participation in public affairs;
  • Reevaluation of the legacy of Armenian national thought and traditions, with an eye toward forging reasoned state policies and a public culture that guarantees steady societal progress;
  • Improvement of the legal field based on the principles of distinct separation of powers and public accountability for public officials;
  • Development of lawful normative and administrative acts and provision for their efficient implementation by means of shaping public opinion; and
  • Cultivation of broad support among the body public for systemic reform.

The National Citizens Initiative is guided by a Coordinating Council, which includes individual citizens and representatives of various public, scientific, and educational institutions. Five commissions on Law and State Administration, Socioeconomic Issues, Foreign Policy, Spiritual and Cultural Challenges, and the Youth constitute the vehicles for the Initiative's work and outreach.

Times Imperative

Our Republic is in unsatisfactory condition. Time focuses our attention on its demands; they are loud and clear. Every reasonable man and woman, every concerned Armenian strives to the extent possible to make his or her valued contribution to improvement of this state of affairs.

Since its founding in 1994, the Armenian Center for National and International Studies has conducted research and analysis and has published countless studies on all aspects of our public and national life. Many have included specific policy recommendations that have been sent over time to authorities both in and out of office. Unfortunately but expectedly, only a rare few of these works have produced real policy that could, if pursued, have created a more favorable public environment.

Each idea has its own forms and phases of presentation. It is now time for these considered commendations, plans, and programs to be put on the public agenda and policymaking desks in coordinated and systematic fashion. Otherwise, the current crisis will not merely continue; it will deepen irrevocably.

It is today evident that, with experience as anchor, the National Citizens Initiative should come forward as one of the imperatives of our time. Its purpose is simple and straightforward: to develop and carry through the very programs, projects, and policies that target development in all aspects of public life.

Let us work together. Acting alone, we can often confuse good wishes and harsh realities, but together we make it possible to turn these aspirations into real-life accomplishment.

The National Citizens Initiative is open for responsible civic and national participation. The time is ripe for our combined action with individuals and institutions sharing our concern and commitment. Only in this way might we achieve actual change in the life of one and all.

Toward this end we shall do everything under the law and in our power. Join us in empowering Armenia.


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