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The regular working meeting of the Armenian Aarhus Centers in Yerevan
On June 11, Yerevan Aarhus Center hosted the second working meeting of the Armenian Aarhus Centers employees this year, within the frameworks of “To assist the government and civil society to solve environmental problems by strengthening capacities of state institutions and civil society organizations on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention” program.
At the beginning of the meeting an interesting lecture was given by Gevorg Danielyan, Chair of “Constitutional Rights Center”, Doctor of Law, Professor. The latter presented brief information about his participation in the international meeting on the judicial-legal system recently held in the city of Almaty of Kazakhstan.

Highlighted natural persons protection issues by administrative bodies. He also noted that, for example, in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is truly operating the principle of the one-window and the citizens got rid of unnecessary red tape with regard to documents. “We’ll make a great mistake, if hesitate to carry out reforms in this direction,” marked Gevorg Danielyan.

Professor Danielyan also informed about the freedom of information, establishing the rules of procedure on discussing the citizens’ proposals, applications and complaints, wider opportunities offered by the RA legislation to the citizens to be informed and participate in decision making, which are not applied in practice.

Other issues concerning the selection of Coordinator at Goris Aarhus Center and the centers activity were discussed with Oliver McCoy, Economic and Environmental Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan and Gohar Ghazinyan, Environmental Programmes Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Upon learning that this year at 8 centers were not held sessions of the board of experts yet, at the same time highlighting the involvement of experts from regional institutions and public sector in the centers management, Oliver McCoy stated that in this regard there was a need to review the forms of management. Regarding the election of Goris Aarhus Center Coordinator, the latter said that the issue was presented to the head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Referring to the letter of the “Environmental Public Advocacy Centre” (EPAC) NGO addressed to the OSCE Ambassador in regard to not publishing the information on the center’s website about the program running by them, Oliver McCoy marked that the issue should not be raised to the level of the ambassador and could be settled within the framework of interactions between the NGO and the Armenian Aarhus Centers.

The participants recommended publishing the information on the www.aarhus.am website after the evaluation of the results of the project carried out by the EPAC by the donor.

Movses Poghosyan, head of the ARNAP Foundation, partner of the Aarhus Centers in Armenia, highlighting the cooperation between the two institutions, the coincidence of the goals and wide range of capabilities to operate in disaster risk reduction at the local level, mentioned that there was a need to develop a roadmap urgently for joint actions in accordance with the memorandum of cooperation signed between the two sides.

The latter also referred to the annual meeting of the Aarhus Centers held in Vienna, particularly mentioning the successful representation of the Armenian delegation.

At the end of the meeting details about the visit to Vienna were represented by Anush Beybutyan, Anahit Mnatsakanyan and Mari Chakryan, Silva Ayvazyan informed about the “Environment and Security” initiative, the regional meeting for the South Caucasus.

Mari Chakryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan