Tag Archives: diversity

On 11 December Matenadaran in Yerevan hosted the Universal Rights Award Ceremony. This ceremony has existed since 2012, and was the first initiative of the international community to highlight the contributions of Armenia’s civil and political rights activists, government officials, media and civil society representatives to promoting human rights. The organisers honoured individuals working in Armenia to promote human rights, freedom of expression, diversity, religious acceptance, democracy, transparency, legal reform and equal rights in the country.

ARS_8926The UN resident Coordinator in Armenia, Bradley Busetto, presented the “Woman of Courage” award to the Chairman of the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organisation, Ani Balkhian. The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, Natalia Voutova, handed over the “Government Reformer” award to Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Justice, Vigen Kocharyan. The US Ambassador to Armenia, Richard Mills, presented the “Media Excellence” award to MediaLab Newsroom Laboratory. The UK Deputy Head of Mission, Alison Chick, gave the “Freedom Defender” award to the representative of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Isabella Sargsyan. This year, for the first time, the French and German Embassies in Armenia presented a joint “Franco-German Prize for Equal Chances”. The Gyumri-based “Agate – Rights Defence Centre for Women with Disabilities” NGO received this award.

ARS_8975The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, awarded the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO and its Programme Director, Daniel Ioannisyan, with the “Promoting Justice and Transparency” award. He said: ‘It is a big day for all of us. This award is very important, at least from my perspective. We live in times when demand for justice in our society is growing – Armenia is no exception. We need more justice – for centuries our civilisation developed on the concept of delayed justice: justice will come, but later. Transparency is a part of justice. I want to congratulate Daniel for his courageous efforts to increase transparency in Armenia. Transparency can be inconvenient, “dirty” work as it can show us things we do not want to see. But thanks to guys like him, we are aware what to change in our society. I hope that, due to his initiative, in the coming months and years Armenia will dedicate itself to cleaning up its electoral processes and ridding its schools of political manipulation and propaganda. This is very important for democracy in Armenia’.

On 24 October the city of Metsamor celebrated the diversity of nations. A cultural event was organised within the framework of the EU-funded project on “Equal opportunities for implementation of cultural rights for national minorities and vulnerable groups: wealth through diversity”.
The project was launched in February 2012 with the aim of ensuring cultural diversity and supporting the preservation of the culture of national minorities through raising the capacity of local administration bodies, organisations and cultural institutions in Armenia and Ukraine. The event was organised at Metsamor’s cultural centre, which had been re-equipped as part of the project. As part of the celebration, two musical ensembles from Metsamor, “Spring” and “Sunflower”, performed songs from all national minorities living in Armenia.Spring

During the implementation of the project, 20 target communities have been selected in Armenia and Ukraine, active community groups have been formed, capacity-raising training courses have been organised, and programmes for cultural development have been devised.

Kristi Daigma

EU representative Kristi Raidma highly appreciated the project’s performance and the work done: ‘The European Union is proud of its diversity and the people supporting it. This is why we are promoting cultural development in the six countries of the Eastern Partnership. A vivid example of this support and cooperation is the performance we saw today’.

The Head of Civic Development & Partnership Foundation (CDPF), Armen Ghalumyan, thanked all the partners that had contributed to the project and made it possible: ‘We provided small grants to two NGOs that have worked with children and planted seeds of love and respect towards neighbours and their cultures’.

Sunflower Ghalumyan

Additionally, a grant competition was announced for the implementation of the project in Armenia and the Kiev region of Ukraine. This grant competition is aimed at promoting local non-trade organisations’ cultural initiatives. Grant funds for projects range between AMD 500,000-2,500,000.

This project was implemented by CDPF, civil society development NGO “NGO Centre”, and the “GURT resource centre” from Ukraine with financial support from the EU. It will last until December 2014.