Public should be ready to stand till the End: Anti-Corruption Seminar

In countries where corruption levels are high, businesses do not invest, which results to small volumes of economy, and as a rule these volumes are subject to monopolization and monopoly, which affects all the other areas as well. Mr. Aleksander Shagafyan, the Executive Director of the U.S. Alumni Association of Armenia (USAAA) said at the seminar with the students of the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders. At the beginning he spoke about the USAAA activities, including its policies in anti-corruption and integrity spheres.

“We never hid from our American and European partners that there is a need to combat corruption. We use every opportunity to speak out and fight against corruption.” Mr. Shagafyan said.

He noted that recently he has started reading one of the most famous works of the American economist of Armenian origin Daron Achemoghlu “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.” According to the economist’s thesis having open borders, favorable geographic locations, natural resources in order to have a good economy are of course important but not decisive. Decisive is the management.

The next speaker, Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the Founding Member of the US Alumni Association of Armenia, AYLA President, Coordinator of the CSO’s Anti-Corruption Coalition Secretariat, spoke on the theme “Armenian Experience of Fight against Corruption: Anti-Corruption Centers.”

He said that the Advocacy and Assistance Centers and Reception Centers started operation back in 2008. The project had three main objectives: provide citizens opportunity for reporting corruption and directing complaints to Government of Armenia agencies; identify shortcomings in legislation addressing corruption and promote legislative reforms; and to raise the public awareness aimed to enhance the knowledge and awareness of the society about corruption.

The lecturer spoke about the AAC’s Network, which operated in 2012-2014. According to hi the network had had 17285 beneficiaries, and registered 2505 cases which involve corruption risks. “The AAC Network had identified total 351 reforms, of which 204 were system and 147 procedural. It also implemented 202 reforms of which 120 system and 82 procedural reforms. Training of public servants: total 288 individuals of which 169 were civil servants and 119 community servants.”

Further he spoke about the activities of the Anti-Corruption centers and touched upon the capacities of the Armenian Young lawyers Association as well.

“Our society is still not ready to stand until the end,” Mr. Zadoyan concluded, providing specific examples on revealing corruption. “There is a violated right, which we restore. There is an official who has violated this right, and there is a corresponding responsibility. I think this two should be combined. However, does not happen as a rule, because very often the citizens are not ready to take that step. As soon as their right is restored he thinks, “Better to keep away from trouble. We live in Armenia. It is better to limit with this.” From this aspect, resolution of this second issue is more important.”

According to him, more and more of our citizens are becoming more demanding and not afraid to voice the problems.

The Armenian Young Lawyers Association” NGO organize the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders in the framework of the U.S. Alumni Outreach Grants Program with financial support of the US Embassy in Armenia. independent information website is the information partner of the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders.

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