Universal Rights Award Ceremony 2018 | EUNewsletter

Universal Rights Award Ceremony 2018

20 March 2019
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2On 20 February, the representatives of the European Union, the United Nations, the Embassies of the U.S., the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Sweden, the Council of Europe in Armenia honored individuals working to promote human rights, freedom of expression, diversity, democracy, transparency, legal reform and equal rights in Armenia at the Universal Rights Awards 2018 Ceremony. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was a guest of honour at the ceremony.

The Universal Rights Award Ceremony has been held since 2012. The organisers have introduced 9 categories for nominations for 2018, and here were the winners:
• “Freedom Defender” – Maria Karapetyan
• “Community Development” – Tigranuhi Hakobyan
• “Access to Justice” – Haykuhi Harutyunyan
• “Promoting Inclusion” – Uso Haji Nadoyan
• “Media Excellence” – Tatul Hakobyan
• “Government Reformer” – Arsen Torosyan
• “Partnership Advocate” – Chai Khana Media Platform
• “Woman of Courage” – Vardine Grigoryan
• “Youth Leader” – Davit Petrosyan
At the same event, the Embassy of the Republic of France and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed their annual Franco-German Award for Equal Opportunities on an Armenian NGO.

10The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, in his address to the nominees and guests present at the ceremony said: “In 2018, the democratic world applauded the peaceful political change that took place in Armenia. Underpinned by the fundamental values of freedom, equality, and respect for human rights, we trust that this course is irreversible. The EU is ready to continue and enhance its support to Armenia on this important path towards a modern, open, and resilient society. I believe we have a paradigm shift – we now talk differently in Armenia, and with Armenians, about human rights. That is a big change, a result of what happened last year. We are still talking and there’s still a lot to talk about although in a different way. For the EU there are three core issues: gender equality, empowerment of women, and social rights”.

7Prime Minister Pashinyan made a speech welcoming the ceremony: “What is our human rights protection formula? Our formula consists in providing equal opportunities for all citizens and ensuring equal access to opportunities. We will consistently proceed along this path because of our political viewpoint and vision. Our ideology is that the first thing to do in the field of human rights is to ensure that all citizens in the Republic of Armenia are able to fulfil their social, scientific, economic and political objectives, and are capable of doing so objectively. This does not mean that those who cannot be objective should be left out of the scope and orbit of our policy. On the contrary, it is also important for us to encourage and help subjective people to build the necessary capacity for objectivity, to have easy access to education, and to enjoy equal opportunities with others. This is a strategic issue for us, for our country. We must ensure that only the best qualified people are elevated to political, economic and educational positions in Armenia, because only fair and equal opportunities may lead to favourable conditions for Armenian citizens”.

Universal Rights Award Ceremony 2018

2On 20 February, the representatives of the European Union, the United Nations, the Embassies of the U.S., the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Sweden, the Council of Europe in Armenia honored individuals working to promote human rights, freedom of expression, diversity, democracy, transparency, legal reform and equal rights in Armenia at the Universal Rights Awards 2018 Ceremony. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was a guest of honour at the ceremony.

The Universal Rights Award Ceremony has been held since 2012. The organisers have introduced 9 categories for nominations for 2018, and here were the winners: • “Freedom Defender” – Maria Karapetyan • “Community Development” – Tigranuhi Hakobyan • “Access to Justice” – Haykuhi Harutyunyan • “Promoting Inclusion” – Uso Haji Nadoyan • “Media Excellence” – Tatul Hakobyan • “Government Reformer” – Arsen Torosyan • “Partnership Advocate” – Chai Khana Media Platform • “Woman of Courage” – Vardine Grigoryan • “Youth Leader” – Davit Petrosyan At the same event, the Embassy of the Republic of France and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed their annual Franco-German Award for Equal Opportunities on an Armenian NGO.

10The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, in his address to the nominees and guests present at the ceremony said: “In 2018, the democratic world applauded the peaceful political change that took place in Armenia. Underpinned by the fundamental values of freedom, equality, and respect for human rights, we trust that this course is irreversible. The EU is ready to continue and enhance its support to Armenia on this important path towards a modern, open, and resilient society. I believe we have a paradigm shift - we now talk differently in Armenia, and with Armenians, about human rights. That is a big change, a result of what happened last year. We are still talking and there’s still a lot to talk about although in a different way. For the EU there are three core issues: gender equality, empowerment of women, and social rights".

7Prime Minister Pashinyan made a speech welcoming the ceremony: “What is our human rights protection formula? Our formula consists in providing equal opportunities for all citizens and ensuring equal access to opportunities. We will consistently proceed along this path because of our political viewpoint and vision. Our ideology is that the first thing to do in the field of human rights is to ensure that all citizens in the Republic of Armenia are able to fulfil their social, scientific, economic and political objectives, and are capable of doing so objectively. This does not mean that those who cannot be objective should be left out of the scope and orbit of our policy. On the contrary, it is also important for us to encourage and help subjective people to build the necessary capacity for objectivity, to have easy access to education, and to enjoy equal opportunities with others. This is a strategic issue for us, for our country. We must ensure that only the best qualified people are elevated to political, economic and educational positions in Armenia, because only fair and equal opportunities may lead to favourable conditions for Armenian citizens”.