ArmInfo. UN Special Rapporteur Clement Nyaletsossi Voule on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association did not see pressure on protesters who oppose the Amulsar mineral assets.
Thus, during a press conference in Yerevan on October 16, presenting the results of his visit to Armenia, the speaker informed that his attention also focused on issues related to the use of natural resources. In his opinion, the use of natural resources should be fair. In this context, he informed that he had visited Amulsar and had a meeting with activists who had peacefully blocked the road to the field. Voule stressed the importance of the authorities consulting with community representatives and conducting explanatory work on the exploitation of the field.
Answering the question of whether the UN Special Rapporteur sees attempts to exert pressure on activists, Voule stressed that the Armenian government expressed its readiness to listen to the problems voiced and assured that without a proper legal certificate, no field will be exploited. "As I said, I had a short meeting with activists to understand their condition. The UN Human Rights Office received a complaint regarding attempts to exert pressure on the participants of the meeting, but I did not have time to study it in detail, as I was already going to Armenia For me, the obligations that the government has taken on themselves, namely, to carry out explanatory work with the communities, as well as assurances that more than one field will not operate without a legal license, are important. Public facts related to legal booty, as in this case, "said the UN Special Rapporteur, while repeating that he saw no action to put pressure on the activists of the movement.
At the same time, he expressed the conviction that the Armenian government should make more efforts to carry out explanatory work with the public, and especially with communities near the fields. ArmInfo previously reported that during his working visit to France, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a meeting in Paris with Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lydian International, Gordon Wylie, and Council Member Julian Davidson. According to official information, during the meeting, the situation around the Amulsar field development program and possible solutions to the existing problems were discussed. Nikol Pashinyan in this context emphasized the priority and importance of the safety of the resources of Sevan Lake and mineral water sources in the Amulsar region. At the same time, the head of government noted that any decision should be based on concrete facts.
He also stressed the importance of the dialogue between Lydian International and the public on the Amulsar project. The issue of mastering the project was the subject of discussions that took place on September 12 between the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the Ambassadors of the United States and Great Britain - Richard Mills and Judith Margareth Farnworth. Earlier, the inspection agency for mineral resources and nature protection suspended the development of the Amulsar gold-bearing field due to the discovery of the blue clove and Apollo butterfly in the area. At the same time, the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia opened a criminal case against the ''Lydian Armenia'' company for illegal mining. Subsequently, the Ministry of Nature Protection as a result of the research did not reveal any carnations and butterflies listed in the Red Book. According to ArmInfo, the issue of the environmental safety of Amulsar has now been referred to a large international consulting company for assessing such risks, the conclusion of which is expected in early spring. This expertise will form the basis for the final decision on the future of the field.
To recall, ''Lydian Armenia'' is a subsidiary of British Lydian International, whose shareholders are major international institutional investors from the United States, Great Britain, and a number of European countries, including the EBRD. The Amulsar project is the largest industrial project in Armenia today for the development of the Amulsar gold deposit worth $ 370 million, 300 of which have already been invested. In August 2016, the start of the project, involving the construction and development of the field, took place. Preparatory work has been going on since 2006. The life of the Amulsar deposit will be 10 years and 4 months, it is planned to produce an average of 200 thousand ounces of gold (about 10 million tons of ore) annually. As part of the Amulsar program, 1,300 jobs will be created during construction (construction work will last about 2 years) and 650-700 jobs throughout the operation of the field. The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Amulsar deposit is the second largest reserves in Armenia.
READ ALL COMMENTS