Issue 105

The Statement of the Civil Society Forum

Armenian National Platform

about the Raising Xenophobia and Intolerance in Armenia

 1st June, 2012

CSF Armenian National Platform expresses its deep concern with regard to the explosion of the DIY club in Yerevan on 8th May, 2012, as well as about several responses that have followed. We strictly condemn any expression of xenophobia, and homophobia particularly, and all those who directly or indirectly encourage the dissemination of intolerance in Armenia.

We consider unacceptable the attack on the participants of “Diversity March” on 21 May, 2012 in the center of Yerevan and all the efforts to express a position through violence in general. Therefore, it is vital to get a decisive response from the law enforcement bodies on the concrete expressions of violence. While the police ignores the alarms about the persecution against the owner of DIY club Armineh (Tsomak) Oganezova by the people campaigning for an unhidden xenophobia.

It is even more concerning since the advocates for intolerance and xenophobia include representatives of some political forces, including the ones in power and represented in the parliament. Particularly, the announcements about the above mentioned events made by RPA Press Secretary, NA Vice-President Eduard Sharmazanov, RPA Council member Hovhannes Sahakyan, ARF- Dashnakstutyun NA fraction deputy Artsvik Minasyan are unacceptable.

This process of intolerance dissemination in Armenia, which is encouraged by some representatives of political elite and is accompanied with expressions of violence, can have severe consequences for the Armenian society and state. All the efforts to link the xenophobia with national values, moreover, to justify it with the latter, to put the national interest in contradiction with human rights will generate new dividing lines in the country. We find the freedom and justice to be the real national values, the respect towards the rights of RA citizens and their protection to be the real national interest. We call the healthy forces of the society to get consolidated and to raise their voice against the dangerous intentions of the dissemination of xenophobia.

 

 

EU – Armenia Subcommittee on Trade, Economic and Related Legal Issues took place in Yerevan

Delegation of the European Union to Armenia

Yerevan, 30 May 2012

The EU – Armenia Subcommittee on Trade, Economic and Related Legal Issues took place today in Yerevan. This meeting was being held in the framework of the EU – Armenia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Its aim was to discuss the developments and policies in Armenia and in the EU, as well as trade and economic bilateral relations and exchange views on implementation of the EU – Armenia ENP Action Plan.

The Deputy Minister of Economy, Mr Garegin Melkonyan welcomed the EU side led by Mr Luc Devigne, Head of Unit from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade. In the discussion, both sides shared their assessment of the latest developments in a number of areas including: trade, taxation, customs, investment climate, intellectual property rights, public procurement, and general macro-economic developments.

In the meeting the EU side welcomed the progress achieved so far and encouraged the Armenian side to further intensify its reform efforts. It also stressed the need of proper implementation, so that the EU and Armenian businesses and consumers can fully benefit from results of this reform process.

Additional information

The Subcommittee on Trade, economic and Related legal Issues is one of four similar fora, which take place on annual basis and they cover the full scope of the PCA. In parallel to the meetings of these Subcommittees, the EU and Armenia are undertaking negotiations of a future Association Agreement with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as its integral part.  The Association Agreement is intended to replace the current PCA and to provide a new basis for EU-Armenia contractual relations.

 

EU – Armenia Subcommittee on People to People took place in Yerevan

Yerevan, 1 June 2012

The first meeting of EU-Armenia Sub-committee on People to People; “Social Affairs, Public Health, Training, Education and Youth, Culture, Information Society, Audiovisual, and Science and Technology” took place on 1 June in Yerevan.

Mrs. Karine Harutyunyan, Deputy Minister for Education and Science co-chaired the meeting from the Armenian side, and Mr. Cesare de Montis, Team Leader Coordinator of South Caucasus Association Agreement negotiations, from the EU side. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanian delivered a welcoming speech. Representatives of Ministries of Education and Science, Labour and Social Affairs, Culture, Youth, Health Economy and number of other institutions participated in the meeting and presented the recent developments in Armenia, the pace of reforms and Armenia’s expectations.

European Commission officials presented the EU policy, new instruments and opportunities for cooperation in bilateral and multilateral frameworks. Various programmes in the field of education and science such as Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and Jean Monnet, as well as cooperation in the field of innovation, information society, social policy, health were discussed during the meeting.

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