Anti corruption Program Underway in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Prime Minister Antranig Markarian met with representatives of organizations and embassies–members of the international anti-corruption working group who have expressed their support to Armenian authorities in developing and implementing an anti-corruption program. Among the participants of the meeting were the ambassadors of the US–Russia–France–Germany–Great Britain–Italy–the European Commission–the Head of the Yerevan Office of the OSCE–Ambassador Roy Reeve–representatives of the CE–the Swiss Development Agency–the World Bank–UNDP–the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the ABA-CEELI organization.

Markarian briefed the guests on the process of developing the anti-corruption program–emphasizing that the final version–prepared by the coordinating commission–would be presented to the participants of the meeting as well as the Armenian public to seek opinions and suggestions. A draft has already been submitted to sub-departmen’s of the Armenian government.

Markarian stated that the task at hand is to work out a long-term and medium-term program of implementation–simultaneously with the program’s development. The Government intends to approve the program either by the end of this year–or at the beginning of next year so that some measures of the program are included in the annual list of Government measures endorsed in January.

Markarian also presented a number of draft laws on anti-corruption aimed at protecting state officers from the arbitrary actions of authorities and protecting citizens from superfluous contact with officials–in order to obstruct official misuse of power. The draft laws also aim at reducing state interference in private business–increasing the efficiency of spending state funds–etc.

Markarian noted that the struggle against corruption must become a part of any Cabinet’s program–and not just be declarative in character.

Participants praised the political will of the President and the government of Armenia in combating corruption. They expressed their readiness to assist this program and promised to submit their proposals and remarks and further assist in the realization of the program.

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