CIS Conference Discusses Refugee Issues

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Representatives of Armenian public organizations on human rights and refugee issues attended the third CIS conference on refugees and migration issues held in Geneva June 15-18. The Armenian delegation held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss that conference.

The chairman of the Sociological Association of Armenia–Gevorg Boghossian–said that the Geneva meeting was attended by seven organizations from Armenia–including the Sociological Association of Armenia; the Armenian Fund for Development–Human Rights Protection and Charity; the Fund for Struggle Against Violation of Law; the National Center for Democracy and Human Rights; "Mission to Armenia," the Republican Committee of Armenia "Soldier’s Mother," and the "Return to Hayk" organization.

According to Boghossian–the government of Armenia for the first time presented its clear position on the problem of refugees during this meeting. Armenia’s special envoy Ashot Melik-Shahnazarov–in his speech–referred to the need to offer monetary compensation to the refugees. Statistical data on the number of refugees in Armenia were also made public.

It was reported at the press conference that the Program of Action adopted by the CIS Geneva Congress is aimed to stand until 2000. It was also said that the interest of donor-countries in the CIS is becoming weaker. However–the solution to the problem of the return of refugees and compensation for the psychological damage suffered is a long-term process–a participant said. Therefore–the importance of setting up an international public structure to tackle these problems was highlighted. That structure is likely to be funded by the Fund of the Institute of Open Society.

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