OSCE Yerevan Office to Help Armenia Fight Against Corruption

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–The head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan Roy Reeve announced at a news conference Wednesday that the OSCE acting chairwoman–Austria’s foreign minister is expected to pay a visit to Yerevan in mid-July. A seminar in Yerevan in September dealing with regional security and stability related issues with participation of European and regional countries is also planned.

He said that Europe pays great importance to the region’s stability–and the OSCE wants to move the discussions from Europe to the region itself with immediate participation of the countries.

This was Reeve’s first news conference after the official opening of the OSCE Yerevan office–and he wanted to inform the reporters on the range of goals the office would be pursuing and also on the outcome of a three months’ operation in Yerevan.

The OSCE office has reached an agreement with the Armenian parliament on its participation in drafting laws. Currently the office is working on the improvement of the electoral code and formation of the Ombudsman institution.

He also said that a special task force was created by the office with participation of representatives form IMF–World Bank–and US–French and German embassies in Yerevan to coordinate the assistance by international organizations to the Armenian government in its drive against corruption.

Roy Reeve said that his office could bring experts from Europe to assist the government and parliament in this issue.

If sponsors are found–the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will likely organize a conference on regional problems in Yerevan–Head of the OSCE Yerevan office–Ambassador Roy Reeve told a news conference.

He said that the basis for the conference–which is to be attended by representatives of the states neighboring on the South Caucasus–will be the report on the situation in the region prepared by the Brussels Center of Political Studies. Reeve also said that in mid-July the OSCE Chairwoman in Office will arrive on a visit to Yerevan.

As to the work carried out by the OSCE Yerevan office during its three-month activities–Reeve pointed out the cooperation of the office with government structures in battling corruption. The office representatives participate in the discussions of the anti-corruption bill in Parliament. The Yerevan office also formed a working group which included World Bank officials–members of the European Commission–officials of the American–French–German and British embassies in Armenia.

The goal of the working group is rendering assistance to the government and Parliament in elaborating a general anti-corruption strategy.

Under an agreement with the leadership of the National Assembly–the office representatives participate in parliamentary discussions of the amendmen’s to the Election Code. An extensive program on human rights and democratic development is under implementation–and much attention is paid to the problems of mass media. Currently–the OSCE is actively cooperating with a number of international organizations in settling refugee and migration problems.

As to economy and environment–Ambassador Reeve said that the activities of the OSCE Yerevan office will be aimed at implementing development programs in the borderline regions–the problem of water-supply being the center of attention. Special attention is expected to be paid to the implementation of the programs that are common to the entire region. As to specific features of the programs–Reeve said that it will be better determined after the OSCE opens its office in Baku in the near future. He also stressed that the OSCE is interested in cooperation proposals being advanced by the countries of the region themselves.


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