US AID to Promote Democracy in Armenia

WASHINGTON-The Clinton administration continues to expand its assistance programs in Armenia designed to promote democratic pluralism–strengthen the rule of law–expand the independent media–support parliamentary and political party development and facilitate free and fair elections–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

"We welcome the increased attention that the Clinton administration has placed on democratic development in Armenia and encourage the expansion of these programs during the coming year," said Aram Hamparian–Executive Director of the ANCA. "This assistance continues to serve as a strong signal to the people of Armenia that the United States will stand with them as they seek to overcome the legacy of an authoritarian political system and fully realize their democratic aspirations."

The ANCA supports high levels of US assistance for Armenia and direct aid to Karabakh. Since 1991–the US has provided more than $600 million to Armenia to help offset the effects of blockades and to promote economic and political reform. The ANCAs broad-based grassroots advocacy–legislative strategy–and long-standing relations with congressional leaders and Administration officials have all contributed significantly to the high level of aid Armenia has received–currently the second highest per- capita in the world. Listed below are democracy programs administered by the Agency for International Development; the US Information Service–the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture.

Clinton Administration’s Democracy Programs for Armenia in 1996 Clinton

I. Strengthen Rule of Law and the Respect for Human Rights

A. University-Level Training and Continuing Education Programs

    1. Extension Programs For Continuing Education of Lawyers and Judges (USAID)
    2. Curriculum Development–Yerevan State University–Law Faculty (USIS & USAID)
    3. Initiate a Masters in Law Program at the American University of Armenia (USIS)
    4. Legal Center at the American University of Armenia (USAID)
    5. FSA Funded Trip to the U.S. for Chairman and a Judge of the Constitutional Court (USIS)
B. Strengthen the Private Legal Profession and Legal Advocacy Organizations

    1. Technical Assistance to Armenia’s Lawyers Association (USAID)
    2. Training Tour for Six Lawyers (USIS)
C. Legislative Drafting and Judiciary Training

    1. Seminar on Legislative Drafting–Assistance on Legislation–and Judiciary Training (USAID)
II. Promote Pluralism and Professionalism in the Media

A. TV Stations

    1. Equipment and Training for TV Station (USIS)
    2. Training Tour for a TV Station Manager (USIS)
    3. Training on How to Operate a Television Station as a Business (USAID)
B. Print Media

    1. Create a For-Profit Publishing House (USAID) – Not funded
    2. Training Tour for a Print Journalist (USIS)
C. Radio

    1. Equipment for Radio Stations (USIS)
D. Establish and Strengthen Media Associations

    1. Association of Independent TV Stations (USAID)
    2. Equipment for the Yerevan Press Club (USIS)
E. University Level Training

    1. Curriculum Development–Yerevan State Univ.–Journalism Faculty (USIS) – Not funded
    2. Equipment for the Journalism Faculty (USIS) – Not funded
III. Support Parliament and Political Parties
A. Political Parties

    1. Training Seminars for Political Parties (USAID)
B. Parliament

    1. Work with Parliament to Improve Transparency and Effectiveness of its Work (USAID)
    2. Develop Parliamen’s Ability to Draft Legislation Independent of the Executive (USAID)
    3. Training Tour for Six Deputies and Staff Members (USIS)
    4. Improve Communication with Constituents (USAID & USIS)
    5. Improve Parliamen’s Access to Information Independent of Executive (USAID & USIS)
IV. Develop a Civil Society

A. Marshall Program: Civilian Control of the Military. A Minimum of Two Participants Per Each Semester (DoD)
B. Promote and Strengthen Advocacy Non-Governmental Organizations (USAID)
C. Promote and Strengthen Farmers Associations (USDA)
D. Develop a Civic Education Curriculum for the School System (USIS)
E. Equipment for Non-Governmental Organizations (USIS)
F. Finance Information Brochures on How the Legislative Process Works in Armenia (USIS)
V. Support Competitive and Open Presidential and Municipal Elections in 1996

A. Assist the Parliament in Re-drafting the Election Law–and Work with the Central Election Commission on Training Poll Workers–and Conducting a Voter Education Campaign (USAID)
B. Train Local Non-Governmental Election Monitors–Including a Training Tour to the US for NGO Members and the Chairman of the Central Election Commission (USAID & USIS)
C. Work with Other Embassies and International Organizations to Improve Coordination on Monitoring Elections (Embassy–USAID & USIS)
D. Equipment for Non-Governmental Organization Monitoring Groups (USIS)


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.