On 9 December, the Annual Anti-Corruption Award Ceremony was held on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day. Advocates of transparency and integrity, representatives of the society who reject corruption, received awards and prizes at the ceremony.
The award ceremony was organised on the initiative of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia within the framework of the EU-funded “Commitment Constructive Dialogue” project aimed at reinforcing civil society voice and dialogue with the government.
Mr. Davit Harutyunyan, RA Minister of Justice, Mr. Artur Davtyan, RA Prosecutor General, Mr. Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of the Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, H.E. Mr. Petr Mikyska, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Armenia, attended the ceremony and handed out the four anti-corruption awards. Other representatives of state and civil society organisations participated in the event as well.
Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association and the Coordinator of the Secretariat of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia noted in his welcome speech that cooperation between the government and civil society has already resulted in serious achievements in the fields of two pillars of effective fight against corruption, corruption prevention and anti-corruption education. He said, “We hope that constructive dialogue will result in achievements in the third field as well, which is the inevitable punishment for corruption.”
According to Mr. Artur Davtyan, cooperation with the public is important, “We can notice a tendency of increasing intolerance towards corruption crimes in the society. The stereotypes are being broken. People would totally refuse to get involved in unveiling corruption crimes before. Now we are having instances when corruption cases and schemes are revealed due to cooperation between citizens and law enforcement agencies.”
Mr. Hoa-Binh Adjemian noted in his speech that supporting fight against corruption is among EU priorities in Armenia. He said, “The EU takes note of all the progress done and the very ambitious civil service reform in line with the best EU practices. Let me confirm that the EU will stand by Armenian citizens to make a better future.”
Tevan Poghosyan, Chairman of the Governing Board of Armenian CSOs’ Ant-Corruption Coalition mentioned that now the initiatives aimed at solving the problems of the citizen are of great importance, and the activity of only ten devotees can give a great result in such cases, “Today is the day of those few devotees whose enthusiasm may be contagious.”
An official signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Undersatnding between the RA Prosecutor General’s Office and the Armenian CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition took place before the award ceremony.
Then the awards were handed in four nominations. Davit Harutyunyan handed out the award “Young People of the Year” to the creative team of the Tales of Neto computer game. This game tells the story of the Planet Neto, and how it came to be damaged by corruption. .
Artur Davtyan handed out the “Mass Media of the Year” award to the “Liberty” Radio Station for active coverage of electoral processes and restraining as well as detecting corruption risks.
Mr. Hoa-Binh Adjemian handed out the “CSO of the Year” award to Impact Hub Yerevan for the implementation of the “Art of (anti) Corruption” project.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Mr. Petr Mikyska, handed the “Business Organisation of the Year” award to the “Caffeine Brew Lab” Café, which operates in Dilijan. A few months ago, tax inspectors fined the café for unsubstantiated reasons. However, the founders of the café appealed the decision in the court and succeeded.
Coordinator of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition Secretariat Karen Zadoyan handed out letters of gratitude to other individuals who have been involved and distinguished in the fight against corruption this year. Letters of appreciation were handed out to Minister of Justice Mr. Davit Harutyunyan, Minister of Finance Mr. Vardan Aramyan, Chief of the RA Government’s Staff Mr. Vahe Stepanyan and the Czech Ambassador to Armenia Mr. Petr Mikyska.