Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, the EU Delegation to Armenia, the RA National Security Council and the RA State Revenue Committee jointly presented the goals, objectives, budget, implementation timeframe and perspectives of the EU funded and UNDP implemented “Provision of Equipment and Infrastructure for the Bagratashen – Sadakhlo Border Crossing Point between Armenia and Georgia and enhancement of their capacities” project at an opening conference held at “Armenia Marriott” hotel in Yerevan.
Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, and Gagik Khachatryan, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee, addressed the participants of the conference, including representatives of international organizations, responsible authorities of border management agencies from Armenia and Georgia.
The project, with an overall budget of EUR 4,300,000, will introduce European standards of integrated border management (IBM) at the Bagratashen-Sadakhlo border crossing point on the Armenia-Georgia border and facilitate trade, transit and enhanced movement of people across the border.
Ambassador Hristea congratulated the authorities of Armenia and Georgia for their commitment to introduce and develop Integrated Border Management Systems in their countries: “The EU was built on regional cooperation and we consider that this kind of initiatives will be beneficial for the South Caucasus as well. Therefore, I would encourage the border management agencies of both countries to continue enhancement of their cooperation and opt for information exchange.”
“The main goal of introduction of IBM system in Armenia is facilitation of trade and transit and enhancement of movement of people across the border, at the same ensuring the security of the border. This requires strong legal framework, enhanced inter-agency and cross-border cooperation, as well as improvement of transparency, accountability and integrity of border management agencies. The new project will focus primarily on supporting the Government of Armenia in further development of border management agencies’ capacities, as well as on provision of infrastructure, equipment and IT systems to Bagratashen border crossing point,” said Bradley Busetto in his welcoming remarks.
As part of the initiative, capacities of Georgian and Armenian border agencies’ staff at Bagratashen-Sadakhlo border crossing point will be developed through professional skills trainings in a range of subjects, including development of Standard Operational Procedures, document security, risk assessment and profiling, search techniques, human resources management, refugee law and asylum rights, etc.