Armenia maintains efforts towards consolidation of democratic institutions: FM

Statement by Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of Armenia at the Open Government Partnership Summit 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Armenia thanks the Government of France for its efforts towards advancing the agenda of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and for the extended hospitality. Our appreciation also goes to the civil society Co-Chair – the World Resources Institute. The Summit is an opportunity to galvanize our engagement in OGP initiative promoting fundamental values necessary for the inclusive and sustainable development of our societies.

Between 2011 and 2016, in line with two Action Plans Armenia implemented tangible reforms in major sectors such as the law-making activities, public procurement, access to and freedom of information, healthcare, education, local self-governance, mining industry. Through the implementation of more than 20 commitments targeted actions have been undertaken to meet main OGP challenges on improving public services, ensuring effective management of public resources, promotion of public confidence.

The cutting-edge tools, such as crowdsourcing and co-design were widely used in the drafting process of Armenia’s Open government partnership Third Action Plan (2016-2018). Government officials came together with Civil Society Organizations, experts and private sector partners to discuss and elaborate the suggested action plan commitments.

Most of the declared Summit priorities including on transparency and anti-corruption, sustainable development and climate change are included in our new Action Plan. Armenia joined other states in singing Paris Agreement on climate change. The Government of Armenia provided its final national progress report on the Millennium Development Goals. The roadmap for national implementation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been drafted. All these processes have been done in an inclusive manner based on multi-stakeholder public discussions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Armenia continues its efforts aimed at consolidating democratic institutions, strengthening the rule of law, national mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights and in this regard sustains strong partnership with the international organizations and initiatives. Last December by the nation-wide referendum Armenia adopted amendments to the Constitution aimed at improving the governance system with increased transparency and accountability. It was followed by the adoption of a new Electoral Code to meet the necessary legal changes in line with the requirements of the amended Constitution. It is noteworthy that both the Constitutional reform and the new Electoral Code have received positive feedbacks from our international partner organizations. To further strengthen the public trust in the election process the Government accepted the proposal coming from the opposition and the discussions on the draft Code were held with the involvement of all parliamentary political factions and civil society representatives.

In Armenia, we have vibrant civil society, which is an indicator of our growing democracy, and an integral part of Armenia’s public life with increasing participation in and contribution to the effective governance. The presence of our Civil Society Organizations among Summit participants, including among members of our OGP National Working Group, is the best illustration for that.

It is noteworthy that at the last global summit of Open Government Partnership, Armenia received a top award and was recognized as a leader in our region for increased efficiency in the activities of its local self-governance authorities and improved public services based on the principles of open governance. Our Civil Society Organizations awarded the Armenian government for advancing freedom of information and joining the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are cognizant that challenges remain. Our new Action Plan is aimed at exploring new tools to directly connect to the society, to mainstream the Open Government Partnership principles in all domains of governance, and to apply human-centered approaches in policymaking. With this in mind, we are looking forward to work hand in hand with all partners to achieve the objectives of Open government partnership.

Thank you.

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