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Delegation headed by the Swiss Foreign Affairs State Secretary in Hrazdan Aarhus Center

On January 28, the delegation headed by Mr. Yves Rossier, Swiss Foreign Affairs State Secretary visited Hrazdan Aarhus Center to get acquainted with the activities, goals, achievements and obstacles of the Aarhus Centers on the spot.
The delegation also included Mr. L.Gasser, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of of Switzerland to Armenia and other members of the Swiss Secretariat. In addition to the representatives of the Aarhus Centers, the representatives of the Economic-Environmental Unit of the OSCE Office in Yerevan also visited Hrazdan for the meeting.

Ms. Gohar Ghazinyan Environmental Programmes Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan, responded to the questions interested the guests regarding the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Armenia as well as the OSCE Office’s interest in the Aarhus Centers existence and their eager activities. The latter marked that the priority of the OSCE’s mandate is the protection of human rights and security, the Aarhus Convention is a wonderful tool for citizens to be informed on the environmental issues, to participate in decision-making process and to ensure access to justice in terms of dissemination democratic values and promoting civil society in Armenia. The Office supports the Centers as they seek to disseminate truthful information and knowledge available to a wide range of public, strengthen cooperation with Local Governments, the public and the private sector, introducing innovative practices related to transparency and good governance.

Mr. N. Beglaryan, Coordinator of Yeghegnadzor Aarhus Center, who was selected as this year’s Youth Ambassador of the Model-OSCE representing Armenia, presented the guests PP presentation on the Aarhus Centers activities. He spoke specifically about mining industry and its effects, reflected to the SHPPs issue, which rapid growth is not only a new threat to the rivers and river basin biodiversity, but also for the existence of entire ecosystems. Despite the inconveniences caused by the power cut, the meeting was very informative.

Through the direct Q & A the coordinators of Hrazdan Aarhus Center and members of “Healthy Hrazdan group” Civil initiative presented environmental deterioration threats posed to Hrazdan region, for those prevention carried out activities to create public awareness and to make the public voice heard.
The guests appreciated the hospitality and the event and continued their way to Lake Sevan.
It should be noted that Switzerland, as the presiding country of the OSCE for the year 2014, will seek opportunities to support the dialogue between the parties and strengthen confidence-building measures.

Mary Chakryan
PR manager of the Armenian Aarhus Centers
Tell: (+374) 10 551364
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com