Friday, July 12 2019 22:18
Ani Mshetsyan

The first meeting of the Council on Anti-Corruption Policy took place  in the Armenian government headed by Prime Minister

The first meeting of the Council on Anti-Corruption Policy took place  in the Armenian government headed by Prime Minister

ArmInfo.n July 12, the first meeting of the Council on Anti- Corruption Policy was held in the government of Armenia on July 12 headed by Prime Minister Nikol  Pashinyan.

As reported by the press service of the government, Prime Minister  Pashinyan made a speech in which he said: "What was the main problem  of the fight against corruption in Armenia? The problem that it was  constantly talked about, but nothing changed in fact. Most of the  reasons why this happened, in my opinion, lay in the lack of  political will, moreover, the anti-corruption struggle and  anti-corruption mechanisms in Armenia never corresponded to the scale  and content of talking about them, "the prime minister emphasized.

Pashinyan noted that today the Armenian government has a greater  political will to combat the principle of combating corruption, but  today the fight against corruption in Armenia is not in the extent  and efficiency that is consistent with the government's political  will.

"This happens primarily because of the lack of institutionalized  mechanisms. Of course, and I talked about this several times. We  should not ignore the systemic causes, including possible systemic  resistance, and today we are faced with the task of creating  mechanisms to combat corruption and prevent it in Armenia. In the  field of fighting corruption, it is desirable to get a result 100% in  line with the political will of the Armenian government, which has a  parliamentary majority in our country, "Pashinyan stressed.

The prime minister also said that in this area, of course, there are  certain problems, the most important of which in his opinion are: to  organize the fight against corruption solely in such ways, and with  the assistance of such structures so that they suddenly or in some  way do not undermine democratization and democratic reality of  Armenia.

"These are also very important issues that we put forward, but one  thing is clear: the Armenian government and the parliamentary  majority will fight corruption with the toughest methods. At the same  time, I consider it very important to note that by corruption we mean  not only corruption in the past, but also the corruption that exists  at the moment, and which is possible in the future . Of course,  corruption in the past is dangerous, corruption is more dangerous  now, but future corruption is becoming more dangerous for the future  of our country and people. And therefore, we need to move forward  quickly, but with thoughtful steps, create guarantees that corruption  in the Republic of Armenia cannot have the scale and influence that  it had before. I would like to thank our colleagues in Parliament,  the Ombudsman and representatives of non- governmental organizations  who are involved in this process, hope that we will be able to make  this joint work truly effective, "the Prime Minister concluded.

In turn, the Minister of Justice of Armenia, Rustam Badasyan,  presented the draft Anti- Corruption Strategy and the draft action  plan for its implementation, which has already been published on  e-draft.am. He noted that the document is still being introduced to  state bodies, adding that discussions are continuing with civil  society and non-governmental organizations.

The Minister noted that the main goal of the anti-corruption strategy  is to ensure the consistent implementation of the concepts and  principles proclaimed by the government in the fight against  corruption in all necessary directions. To achieve this goal, the  following tasks were put forward:  creating and developing the  necessary institutional foundations, building the image of a  legitimate and decent public servant, reducing opportunities for dual  approaches in the sectoral legislative field and constantly  introducing tools of transparency and participation to ensure public  control, improving the detection of corruption cases and so on. The  strategy proposes combating corruption in three areas: preventing  corruption, disclosing corruption offenses and anti-corruption  education and raising awareness. According to Rustam Badasyan,  discussions are currently underway on the implementation of the  institutional model of anti-corruption policy and the creation of two  main structures in this regard: the commission for the prevention of  corruption and the commission for the fight against corruption.

The Minister also touched upon the adoption of the draft law "On  confiscation of illegal property" in the framework of the fight  against corruption. He said that the bill is at the final stage, the  results of international expertise have beenobtained. In the near  future, the bill will be announced and submitted for public  discussion.

On the second issue on the agenda, the Minister of Justice presented  the Main Conceptual Directions of the Strategy for the Reform of the  Judicial System for 2019-2023. According to him, the reforms are  planned to be implemented in two phases: short-term (October 2019-  October 2020) and long-term (October 2019 December 2020).

Short-term reforms include developing the necessary legal framework  for assessing judges and submitting projects to the National  Assembly, building capacity and providing material and technical  support to members of the Commission for the Prevention of  Corruption, strengthening the guarantees arising from the status of  judges, creating and implementing e-justice system the long-term  program of 2019-2023, including the automatic collection of  statistics and the digitization of the archive, the improvement of  the Criminal Code, etc.

Prime Minister Pashinyan instructed the Minister of Justice to  continue discussions with interested government agencies and NGOs on  the proposals submitted by the Anti-Corruption Strategy, and to  submit a revised draft to the next meeting of the Council. 

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