“The Rule of Law and not the Law of Force” Anti-Corruption Discussion in Lori Marz

A discussion on ensuring integrity in public service sphere took place in Vanadzor city today.  The “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” Non-Governmental Organization and its partner “Freedom of Information Center of Armenia” NGO had organized this ant-corruption event for the CSOs of Lori marz in the framework of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project co-funded by the European Union and OSCE Yerevan Office.

Advocate Arthur Sukiasyan, Coordinator of Lori Regional Branch of the Armenian Young Lawyers Association opened welcomed the representatives of Lori marz civil society organizations and mass media that participated in the event.

He attached importance to ensuring the principles of integrity in the civil service sphere and noting that the civil society has an important and significant role to ensure this in our county.

Marat Atovmyan, the local expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project spoke about the good governance. Introducing the principles, he said, “These principles should be the basis of our management rather, than presented only in the form of slides. This does not happen in all social sectors at one time, activities must be conducted in all public sectors to ensure this.”

Then Mr. Atovmyan spoke about the issue of ensuring transparency in the management system. According to him the civil society, which is guided by the power of law, has a key role in ensuring accountability. “The Rule of Law is the basis for everything. If power of force and not the Rule of Law dominates in any society, then naturally, the level of corruption will be significant; accountability and transparency will not be ensured,” said the expert.

Marat Atovmyan spoke about the national integrity system as well and refereed to the rules of ethical of the public servant and high ranking officials, “Having rules of ethics is not enough, it is necessary to organize and conduct trainings; the civil servants should be aware of the rules of ethics,” emphasized Marat Atovmyan.

Carl Ulbricht, the international expert of “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project spoke about the public oversight in the context of ensuring integrity in the public service sphere. He spoke about all available mechanisms and ways of public oversight.

Gevorg Tosunyan, journalist of the independent professional website Iravaban.net spoke about the methods for implementation of investigations of the public service data in the contest of insuring integrity. The representatives of Lori Marz civil society organizations were impressed by the discussions. They had various questions to the speakers.

Gevorg Kotanjyan, President of the “Strategic Center for Communities’ Development” NGO attached importance to beginning the anti-corruption education from the school children, “If we start from the age of 6, if it is put in the child from the beginning, then he already considers it priority. Second, there is the question to what extent the government needs a legally educated generation, because in such case the public becomes demanding.”

Sirarpi Petrosyan from “Aravot” NGO spoke about the corruption risks in the health sector. She stressed that the more such anti-corruption debates/discussions would be within the public, the more effective the fight against corruption will be. “The public in general is not aware. Just an example: from the soviet times our people though that they should thank the official even for the most ordinary official paper. When our attitude towards all these will change, when we shall know our rights , then just from that time all the members of the government will  take into account us,” Sirarpi Petrosyan said.