03, 2009

Conveyed a meeting related to the conclusion of the works of the coordinating group on the establishment of the Public Council and nomination of the first members of the PC

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Today, President Serzh Sargsyan conveyed a meeting related to the conclusion of the works of the coordinating group on the establishment of the Public Council and nomination of the first 12 members of the Council.

The President of Armenia thanked the members of the coordinating group for their important work and said “I was carefully following the activities of the group, examined the final report and I should say that a huge amount of work has been done indeed. The group conducted twelve meetings, processed over five hundred applications and proposals, and organized over one hundred working discussions which were attended by many people and organizations.” The President of Armenia reminded that he had mentioned during the first meeting that there should be no limitations to the works of the group and at the time made only one request - “to ensure that anyone who wants to partake in the process of the Public Council’s formation be provided with the opportunity to do so. I believe the group was able to do it.”

Serzh Sargsyan expressed hope that the members of the coordinating group would not assume their job finished and would continue to observe the activities of the Council. President Sargsyan said that on March 11 he approved the Charter of the Public Council created by the group, which stipulates a three-level structure for the formation of the Council.

Noting, that according to the Charter another 24 members of the Council were yet to be elected, the President of Armenia said that the Charter upholds the principle of providing every segment of the society, every interested individual with an opportunity to make their voices heard through the Public Council which is of critical importance. Thirty-six members of the Council divided into corresponding working groups will be able to secure the participation of the interested segments of the society in the decision-making processes.

Stressing, that the society has already formed certain expectations regarding the Council, President Sargsyan expressed confidence that there is a considerable number of healthy forces and individuals who are willing and ready to join forces for the resolution of the problems facing our country. At the same time he noted that there were certain individuals and political forces who for different reasons opposed the creation of this body. “Our task is to present it to the people in a proper way,” – said the President and expressed confidence that the Public Council would launch its activities without unnecessary delay and would be working efficiently.

President Sargsyan offered Vazgen Manukian to assume the coordination of the Council’s activities until the compilation of the Council was complete. The Public Council will elect the Chairperson from among its members when the Council is fully organized.

The President of Armenia also proposed to work actively and provide necessary legal basis for the Public Council to be able to present its consultative opinion to the National Assembly and for a member of the Council to be able to participate at the sittings of the Government.

President Sargsyan once again congratulated the newly appointed members of the Public Council wishing them successful tenure and overall success to the Public Council – the first of the kind consultative body in the Presidential Administration.

Afterwards, the President of Armenia listened to the opinions and viewpoints of the members of the Council. Mentioning, that the Council would have a lot of work, the members of the Council viewed it as an additional vehicle for an open and constructive dialogue, for delivering concerns and problems of the society to the highest echelons of power. Among priorities they mentioned the necessity of establishing the atmosphere of mutual tolerance, consent and solidarity, enhancement of the dialogue between the society and the authorities, and the need to allow public expertise for the prospective decisions.

It was also noted that the corresponding base for the efficient work of the Public Council has already been established and that it could become a serious impetus for the creation of civil society in Armenia.

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