ArmInfo. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met today with civil society representatives representing dozens of different NGOs. The meeting was part of a project to promote and protect human rights.
UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Shombi Sharp and Gonzalo Serrano, Head of the Cooperation Department at the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, who made a welcoming speech, also attended the meeting.
Welcoming those present, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of holding such meetings. In particular, he expressed the idea that "democracy has such a quality that in its conditions those who used to silence others now sometimes have more opportunities to silence others".
"This is perhaps the most important dilemma that exists in democratic countries or, at least, in such democratic countries as Armenia, which still need to finalize and clarify the basic concepts. In particular, not always, but sometimes in certain episodes, it may be necessary to clarify what human rights mean, how it can be used, and so on. This means that democracy, in particular in the Republic of Armenia, still has a long way to go, and maybe not so long. At least at the level of basic concepts, we have social consensus. One thing is clear that our government is committed to democratic values. I have repeatedly stated that I consider democracy an endemic value for us, and not imported from any country or territory. And I believe in this, because I think that many people in this room have proved that democracy is ultimately our phenomenon. I think that such meetings are a great opportunity to discuss these issues", Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of the role of civil society in the development and strengthening of democracy in the country and noted that for this purpose the executive branch also participates in civil society in the fight against corruption and judicial reform.
Then the head of government answered a number of questions from representatives of civil society and listened to their comments and recommendations. In particular, issues related to the protection of human rights, strengthening public control, the fight against corruption, reforms of the judicial system, the police and public administration in general, as well as cooperation with international partners were discussed.
The Prime Minister and representatives of civil society also exchanged views on the formats for organizing such meetings in the future and emphasized that they will contribute to the effective implementation of reforms in various fields.