The Government and the Civil Society establish a Working Platform

An Anti-Corruption Working Platform and Anti-Corruption Working Groups will be established. Today, the Civil Society represented by the CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition and the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Justice signed a Joint Statement.

Ms Shushan Doydoyan, President of “Freedom of Information Center” Non Governmental Organization, read the Statement. Prior to publicizing the statement she said the she is really excited, it seems like she is reading the Declaration of Independence. “I hope this Joint Statement will be of great importance for our country,” Ms Doydoyan said. The parties reached a number of agreements under the Joint Statement. “The parties agreed on the establishment of 2 Government-Civil Society working groups: on Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment in Armenia and on effective institutional system for the fight against corruption. They also agree that the RA Ministry of Justice and the CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition organize the activities of the Working Platform and the Working Groups as coordinators of the activities of the Working Platform and the Working Groups,” she added.

Breaking Cycle of Impunity; Development of Anti-Corruption Organizational Structures and Strengthening Integrity; Development of the Civil Society and Strengthening Public Oversight. Mr. Karen Zadoyan, Founding Member of CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition and Coordinator of the Secretariat, President of “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” Non-Governmental Organization, began his welcoming speech citing the basic guidelines of the the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) which took place in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 2-4 September. He also focused on the institute of criminalization of illicit enrichment.

“One thing is clear for all of us։ Criminalization of illicit enrichment will reduce substantially the parade of palaces of high and middle ranking officials, which can be seen with a naked eye in Yerevan and in other areas of the Republic of Armenia, and which will yield their places to the buildings of public importance: the educational and cultural centers, quality roads and other public good,” Mr. Karen Zadoyan, President of “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” Non-Governmental Organization, Coordinator of the Secretariat of CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition, “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project Manager said.

“Corruption is a broad term and affects all layers of the population. People need to be free to exercise actions,” Mr. Jose-Maria Medina-Navarro, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Armenia mentioned and added, “Corruption has a bad side and actually destroys the social fabric of society and everybody starts looking for their own benefit bending the rules at the expense of everybody else.”

The most important issues on fight against corruption will be discussed through this platform. Mr. Suren Krmoyan, the RA Deputy Minister of Justice assured.

“Today, we announce and our philosophy during the last year was that the fight against corruption is not only the problem of the state; it is the responsibility of the State, the Government, the local self government bodies, the NGOs and every citizen,” the Deputy Minister said.

The event was followed by a discussion on substantive issues. Mr. Carl Ulbricht, the International Expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project introduced the “Challenges and Vision of Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment in the Republic of Armenia.” Mr. Marat Atovmyan, the Local Expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project spoke about the “Challenges and Ways for the establishment of the Effective Anti-Corruption Institutional System in the Republic.”

During the meeting the participants discussed the speakers’ reports and institutional issues.

The Platform is open for the civil society organizations, state and local government bodies.

Gevorg Tosunyan