At the beginning of the meeting CSF Steering Committee members Mikayel Hovhannisyan, CSF Armenian National Coordinator, and Hovsep Khurshudyan, CSF WG4 Coordinator summarized the activities of the Civil Society Forum for the current year, in particular touching upon CSF Monitoring Mission’s visit to Armenia in August and their report presented in Brussels, as well as the Youth Forum held in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The session devoted to the ANP delegation activities at the 8th EaP Civil Society Forum Annual Assembly to be held in Brussels on November 28-30, 2016 was moderated by Boris Navasardian, ANP WG1 Coordinator, President of Yerevan Press Club. The attendees discussed issues regarding the speeches, presentations and the statements on behalf of ANP to be prepared by the Armenian delegation in line with the agenda of the Assembly.
Afterwards the ANP delegates elected ANP working group coordinators for 2016-2017. Zhirayr Edilyan, Country Program Director at the Armenian branch of World Vision international charitable organization was elected as WG1 coordinator.
Karen Chilingaryan, President of the Consumers Consulting Center NGO was re-elected as Working Group 2 coordinator.
Naira Arakelyan, President of Armavir Development Center was re-elected as Working Group 5 coordinator.
The election of WG3 coordinator was postponed until the following week.
As a result of the voting on the suggestion by Hovsep Khurshudyan, CSF WG4 coordinator, President of “Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives Support Center to make amendments and supplements to the ANP organizational principles, a decision was made to postpone the discussion of the issue after the upcoming CSF Assembly in Brussels.
The ANP delegates general assembly also announced about convening a session of ANP Ethics Council to discuss the complaint on the ANP Working Group 2.
The EU-funded “Strong Civil Society Organisations for a Stronger Armenia” project has reported on the project’s results in strengthening civil society organisations, lessons learned and potential future activities. The event on 7 November gathered representatives from civil society organisations to find common ground for cooperation, build partnerships and implement joint projects in the future.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Świtalski, attended the event and stressed theimportance of stronger CSOs: “My presence here carries a very simple message – this project is very important for the EU. Its successful implementation is of the utmost importance to us. Armenia has a new government, a new prime minister, and is now discussing deep and systemic changes.
’’For these ambitious reforms to be implemented, Armenia needs strong CSOs. I am very glad to see that the new government has entered into intensive discussions with CSOs on a number of topics. This shows that inclusive dialogue is being understood as a prerequisite for the successful implementation of reforms. I am very glad that the EU is supporting this dialogue between government and CSOs”.
This project aims to increase the capacities of CSOs in Armenia, enabling them to be more competent and responsive to citizens’ needs, and to proactively support the country’s development through practical approach. The project objectives are to increase internal and external capacities of CSOs and help CSOs in applying and implementing EU projects.
EU Delegation Armenia website
An upgraded Armenian border crossing point has been opened at Bagratashen on 4 November under an EU-funded and UN-implemented project. Citizens of Armenia and tourists from Georgia will benefit from simplified procedures, reduced waiting times, modern infrastructure and equipment, and improved security measures implemented as part of the “Modernisation of Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan Border Crossing Points of Armenia” (MBBG) project.
The modernisation of the border crossing points is expected to raise the living standards of local populations, increase ability to move across borders freely and easily, and engage in cross-border trade between local border communities. It is being implemented in accordance with the requirements of Armenian law and international standards, as well as the principles of comprehensive border administration.
The EU and UNDP have worked together to ensure modern and streamlined procedures and trained 700 border officials in search techniques, profiling, dealing with refugees, and fighting drug trafficking. The EU’s affiliate European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended a EUR 30.8 million loan to the Government of Armenia for financing of the project, which was complemented by a EUR 17.6 million grant from the European Union.
A regional workshop on cooperation with journalists and communication experts was held on 1-2 November in Kiev to allow communication experts from civil protection authorities analysis of media responsibilities following disasters. The EU-funded workshop brought together regional civil protection experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to learn how to effectively involve journalists in national efforts to raise awareness before, during and after disasters.
Proper communication to the public is a crucial element of disaster risk reduction and management. The workshop has helped journalists and experts from Partnership Countries to analyse the roles, mandates and responsibilities of the media in disaster risk reduction and management. Experts shared communication best practices used during past disasters and have identified ways to improve cooperation between journalists and national communication services in the future.
The PPRD East 2 Programme is the EU-funded Flagship Initiative for increasing the disaster risk management capacities of Eastern Partnership societies and improving the protection of populations from the consequences of natural and manmade disasters in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.