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 Monday, June 17 2024 17:17
Marianna Mkrtchyan

U.S.-Armenia Local Democracy Forum kicks off in Yerevan

U.S.-Armenia Local Democracy Forum kicks off in Yerevan

ArmInfo. The U.S.-Armenia Local Democracy Forum kicks off in Yerevan.

As reported by the press service of the US Embassy in Armenia: " U.S.  Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma and President of the  Republic of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan opened the U.S.- Armenia  Local Democracy Forum on June 17 in Yerevan, Armenia. The Forum,  which is the first of its kind, brings together U.S. and Armenian  mayors and regional, state, and provincial leaders for a two-day  exchange about what it means to be a local leader in a democracy.   Ambassador (ret.) Nina Hachigian, the U.S. Department of State  Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy, led the U.S.  delegation, accompanied by Special Representative for Commercial and  Business Affairs Sarah Morgenthau. The delegation included Mayor Elen  Asatryan of Glendale, California; Director Samuel Assefa for the  Office of Planning and Research of the State of California; Mayor  Paige Cognetti of Scranton, Pennsylvania; Mayor Wilmot Collins of  Helena, Montana; Mayor Victor Gordo of Pasadena, California; Deputy  Secretary Kelsey Olson at the Department of Agriculture of the State  of Kansas; and Chief Information Officer Ted Ross of Los Angeles,  California.  Armenian participants included Lilya Davtyan, Vanadzor  Head of Development Programmes, Foreign Relations, and IT; Davit  Gevorgyan, Head of Foreign Affairs Department, Yerevan; Governor Hayk  Ghalumyan of the Tavush Province; Mayor Armen Grigoryan of  Stepanavan; Arman Khojoyan, Deputy Minister of Economy; Edgar  Martirosyan, General Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Syunik  Province; and Mayor Vardges Samsonyan of Gyumri as well as several  other Armenian local and national officials.

In the opening session of the Forum, local leaders announced their  intention to form new city and regional partnerships between the city  of Helena, Montana, and Stepanavan community; the city of Scranton,  Pennsylvania, and Armavir community; and the state of Michigan and  Tavush province.  Following the opening session of the Forum,  participants will discuss democracy building at the local level  through cooperation with civil society and free media, transparency  and accountability, election integrity, constituent engagement and  other areas. On the second day of the Forum on June 18, delegates  will travel to Gyumri, meet with municipal officials, visit the  Gyumri Technology Center, and hold in-depth discussions on topics  such as IT development, fostering public-private partnerships,  responding to climate change, and promoting tourism.

Participants will also hold meetings in their sister city and state  pairs to share ideas for deepening their dialogue and cooperation  over the coming months, with the intent to build robust partnerships  that enhance mutual understanding, good governance, economic  development, and peace and prosperity for the people of Armenia and  the United States."

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