OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said today that the Organization had to start the process of closure of the Office in Yerevan, since no consensus could be reached on the future mandate of the Office.
The closure of the OSCE Office in Yerevan follows months of negotiations and extensive efforts by the 2016 German OSCE Chairmanship and the 2017 Austrian OSCE Chairmanship to resolve the deadlock on the extension of the Office’s mandate.
The OSCE opened its field presence in Armenia in 2000. Zannier said that the Office in Yerevan, with its dedicated staff, had made a significant contribution in assisting and advising the Armenian authorities on the implementation of OSCE commitments. “Co-operation with Armenia has always been very fruitful,” he said.
The OSCE’s activities in the country included, among others, assistance with police reforms and support for reviewing and streamlining the national regulatory frameworks affecting business activity and the daily lives of citizens. In 2006, the Office in Yerevan established a Programme Implementation Presence in the Syunik region to contribute to sustainable development.
Secretary General Zannier emphasized that the OSCE will seek to continue its engagement with Armenia in line with existing OSCE commitments across all three security dimensions – the politico-military, the economic and environmental and the human dimension.
The Office in Yerevan will discontinue its operations on 31 August 2017.