Tag Archives: OSCE

Every year, the EU Delegation to Armenia, the US embassy, the OSCE, Council of Europe and the UN Armenia offices in Yerevan, honour individuals working to promote human rights, accountable governance, the rule of law, local government reform, women’s rights, inclusion and free speech in Armenia at the Universal Rights Awards ceremony. The ceremony has taken place annually since 2012, and is 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 the promotion of human rights.
ARS_0167The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, awarded Lori District Court Judge Narine Hovakimyan with the new “Promoting Justice for All” award in recognition of her principled decisions. These decisions have demonstrated to citizens that the rights guaranteed by their Constitution are upheld in real life. ‘I am very honoured today because I am introducing a new category – an award which promotes justice for all. Justice is not just a pillar of government, it is precondition for everything. There is no democracy, no human rights protection, no fair business, and no harmonious society without independent, fair and efficient justice. For many years the EU has supported the judiciary in Armenia; we are happy that many positive changes have been made, the independence of the judiciary must still be promoted. Therefore, today we are honouring Narine Hovakimyan, a judge from Lori, for her courage and efforts for justice in Armenia,’ stated the Ambassador.
The Ambassador of the US to Armenia, Richard Mills, presented the “Media Excellence” award to the “Photolure” photo agency in recognition of its outstanding professionalism and commitment to covering the “Electric Yerevan” public protests in 2015. The Ambassador of the UK and Northern Ireland, Judith Farnworth, gave the “Freedom Defender” award to the “Citizen Observer” initiative for its efforts pursuing free and fair elections and the rule of law. The UN Resident Coordinator ad interim, Cristoph Biewirth, presented the “Government Reformer” award to Vache Terteryan, the Armenian First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, for his commitment to putting in force the Law on Alternative Service and applying new approaches and reforms to local self-governance. The Head of the Council of Europe office in Yerevan, Natalia Voutova, handed over the “Promoting Inclusion” award to Zaruhi Batoyan for her commitment to creating equal opportunities for people with disabilities and building a more inclusive society. Ambassador Argo Avakov, the Head of the OSCE office in Yerevan, presented the “Woman of Courage” award to Jemma Hasratyan in recognition of her brave, long-term advocacy for equal rights and equal opportunities for women, and gender equality.

On 16 October the Armenian Diplomatic School organised a workshop for international relations professionals and academics. The event was organised within the EU-funded project on “Providing Support to Capacity and Institution Building of the Diplomatic School in Armenia”. Participants listened to a panel of local and international speakers who discussed public diplomacy, Armenia’s experience, and the urgency of further developing diplomacy in the country.

The Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Hoa-Binh Adjemian, stated that the EU was determined to support the capacity of institutions in Armenia: ‘The EU recognises the importance of lifelong learning objectives for diplomats and international relations professionals in public bodies, both in the EU and in partner countries. Improving skills and mutual knowledge will help enhance relations between the EU and Armenia in a long-term perspective’.
Ambassador Vahe Gabrielyan, Director of the Diplomatic School, gave an interactive presentation followed by case studies and lessons learned from different countries, as well as the current state of affairs in Armenia. A debate on the priorities of Armenia’s public diplomacy in political and economic terms was then conducted.

Two of the international experts invited by the project were among the workshop speakers. The first was Elizabeth Galvez, a former UK diplomat and trainer at the DiploFoundation in Malta and Geneva, who lectures on public diplomacy in the Diplomacy and International Relations Master’s programme of the Diplomatic School. The second was Dr Gerlinde Manz-Christ, an independent communications consultant and trainer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna who also offered training for Armenian mid-career diplomats.

The “Providing Support to Capacity and Institution Building of the Diplomatic School in Armenia” project was launched in May 2013 with the aim of supporting institution building in the Diplomatic School. The school was established in 2010 to train future and serving diplomats, as well as staff for governmental agencies. It has had several successful projects recently, and enjoys the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international donors, the European Union, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.