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The Results of the Workshop on Reflection of the Aarhus Convention Pillars in the National Legislation
On December 2, on the initiative of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, in cooperation with the RA Ministry of Nature Protection and “Center of Economical and Legal Analysis” NGO a workshop was held dedicated to the reflection of the Aarhus Convention pillars in the national legislation and access to Justice in Environmental Matters in that context.

The workshop was attended by representatives of all relevant agencies. The opening speech was made by Artsvik Minasyan, Minister of Nature Protection, Argo Avakov, Ambassador of the OSCE and Arman Tatoyan, Ombudsman.

The Minister of Nature Protection in his opening remarks highlighted the Aarhus Convention among the numerous conventions ratified by Armenia, as a document directly reflecting a person’s daily activity. The latter highlighted the harmonization of the national legislation with the main principles of the Convention, for the benefit of complete and effective legal regulation of environmental sphere, adding that there are still things to be done for future generations.

“The creation of 15 Aarhus Centers (ACs) by the OSCE Office in Yerevan jointly with the Ministry of Nature Protection and their activities demonstrate that new demands arise among society in terms of ensuring more comprehensive legislation on access to justice,” the minister concluded.

The Human Rights Defender, characterizing the environment as the most sensitive area, welcomed the joint work. In order to satisfy the great public requirement of having a healthy environment and interests protected by the law the latter highlighted the creation of practical mechanisms.

The Ambassador Argo Avakov, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan expressed readiness of the OSCE Office to provide ongoing support to the process of resolving the issues of environmental protection and regulation of dialogue between the governing bodies and the civil society. Giving priority to interests of a specific region, city residents noted that decisions should not be forced to the public but should be collaborative.

“It is where I see the role of the OSCE,” said the OSCE Ambassador, adding that it is impossible to speak about the country’s security, ignoring stability and environmental safety issues.
The experts of “Center of Economical and Legal Analysis” NGO, led by Professor Gevorg Danielyan presented the possible developments of access to justice and their options with regard to arising problems, answered the questions of the workshop participants.

The representatives of the Aarhus Centers in Armenia during the break had the opportunity to discuss with head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan the ACs mission and the challenges to the rapid response of which should be aimed the centers further activity. The Ambassador emphasized the role of the centers as an important link in the chain of governing bodies and society.

Prepared by Mari Chakryan
Translated by Anush Beybutyan