Launched in November 2003 the "Partnership for Open
initiative is an open coalition of a number of
interested civil society actors in Armenia. The
Partnership strives towards promotion of democratic
reform process in Armenia.

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Presentation of OSCE Expert Review on the RA Digital Radio and Television Broadcasting Implementation Plan, November 22
The Partnership’s activities brought to a halt the Government’s intention to quickly pass its Plan on Broadcast Digitalization.  The Partnership brought it to the attention of international organizations, highlighting the importance of the document and the dangerous parts in it, which may lead to monopolization of media and other undesired consequences.  The OSCE Office in Yerevan pushed for the Government approval to submit the Plan for international expertise.  The Partnership, jointly with the OSCE, presented the Plan to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media for expertise and co-organized a public discussion of the event with the participation of the international expert that had provided her expertise on the Plan.  The Plan is now back with the Ministry of Communication, and will be further worked on in view of the recommendations of the civil society and the international expert. The expert review was facilitated by the Office of the OSCE RFOM and is available in Armenian and English here.

Presentation of the OSCE Expert Review on the Republic of Armenia Digital Radio and Television Broadcasting Implementation Draft Plan and Public Discussion on the Draft Plan
22 November 2006, Congress Hotel, Picasso Hall, 14:00 hrs  

14:00 – 14:30 Welcoming Remarks
Vruyr Araqelyan, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication of the Republic of Armenia
Ambassador Vladimir F. Pryakhin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan
Dr. Ana Karlsreiter, Advisor to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
14:30 – 14:50   Ashot Simonyan, Head of Television Networks of Armenia
RA Digital Radio and Television Broadcasting Implementation Plan
14:50 –  15:15 Dr. Katrin Nyman Metcalf, Independent Expert, Professor of Law, Universities in Estonia and Sweden
Best international digital switchover practices; Expert Review on the RA Digital Radio and Television Broadcasting Implementation Draft Plan
15:15 – 15:45  Coffee Break
15:45 – 16:00 David Sandoukhchyan, Director, Center for Information Law and Policy; Member of Information Technology Development Support Council
"Public policy and legal issues of transition to digital television: civil society opinion"
16:00 – 16:15  Richard Giragosyan, Washington-based security and political analyst
"Moving the Media into the Next Generation: Implementing the Armenian
Digital TV & Radio Broadcasting Plan"
16:15  – 17:30    Discussion
17:30    Closing remarks

Human Rights and the Army, November 28

Human Rights and the Army
28 November, 2006
 Marriott Hotel, Yerevan

Download: Opening Speech
9:30-9:35 OSCE Ambassador, Mr. Vladimir Pryakhin
Part 1:  Alternative Service and Conscientious Objectors
 9:50-10:00 Download: Presentation by OSCE Human Rights Officer, Ms. Silvia Pogolsa
10:00-10:15 Screening of a documentary on Alternative Service and Conscientious Objectors
10:15-11:40  Discussion
11:40-12:10 Coffee Break
Part 2:  Possible Areas of Civil Society Oversight of the Armed Forces
12:10-12:15  Download: Presentation by OSCE Human Rights Officer, Ms. Silvia Pogolsa 
12:15-12:20 Download: Presentation by Mushegh Yekmalyan, Open Society Institute 
12:20-12:30 Presentation by Avetik Ishkhanyan, Chairman of Armenian Helsinki Committee
12:30-13:30 Discussion
Part 3:  Regional Roundtable on Human Rights and the Army
13:30-13:40  Presentation by Nina Nordberg, OSCE/ODIHR Human Rights Adviser, on the forthcoming regional roundtable on the role of independent complaints mechanisms for the armed forces personnel.
13:40-13:55  Discussion
13:55-14:00 Concluding remarks by OSCE Ambassador

Download: RECOMMENDATIONS Of Participants of the Roundtable on Human Rights and the Army

European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan Discussion, December 1
The Partnership for Open Society invites you to participate in a discussion on the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan at 11 A.M. on December 1, 2006 in the Tigran Mets Hall of Marriott Armenia Hotel.

In 2005 the Partnership for Open Society Initiative developed a set of recommendations to be taken into consideration during the development stage of the ENP Armenia Action Plan.  The recommendations were then presented to the Republic of Armenia government, the ENP intergovernmental working group and the public at large.  Now that the ENP Armenia Action Plan is signed, the Partnership for Open Society Initiative organizes this event to have a session of discussion and analysis of this document, giving the civil society an opportunity to express its ideas on the Action Plan and its implementation.  Comparative analysis of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan ENP Action Plans will also be presented.  

RA ministers and other government officials, Ambassadors of EU countries to Armenia, representatives of international organizations, civil society and media have been invited to attend the event.
Download: Agenda

Discussion on the status of Yerevan City, November 14
The “Partnership for Open Society” Initiative organized a discussion on the status of the city of Yerevan on November 14.  As a result of amendments to RA Constitution, the city of Yerevan is regarded as a community where local self-governance should be practiced.  Up to day, several concept papers on the status of the capital city and ways to govern it have been developed and have triggered numerous contradicting opinions and publications.  According to the information we possess, a draft law on the status of the city of Yerevan is now being developed.

Taking into consideration the importance of the status of Yerevan and the day-by-day growing public demand on transparency of decision-making processes, we consider it urgent to organize an open discussion with participation of all stakeholders.

The concept of the draft law “On the city of Yerevan,” was presented by Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration.  Presentations were also made by Vahan Movsisyan, President, Community Finance Association, Gurgen Musheghyan, Director, Yerevan Project Institute and Karine Danielyan, Chairperson, For Sustainable Human Development Association.  Government officials, representatives of international and Armenian organizations, as well as mass media representatives have been invited to participate in the discussion.

Discussion on Perspectives of Media Freedom in Armenia, October 9
On October 9, 2006 the “Partnership for Open Society” Initiative initiated a discussion on prospects of media freedom in Armenia.  During the event, presentations were made by Ms. Hranush Hakobyan, Chair of the NA Permanent Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Youth Issues; Mr. Vardan Kopyan, Deputy President of RA Council on Public Television and Radio Company and Ms. Nouneh Sarkissyan, Executive Director of Internews media support NGO. The discussion was facilitated by Mr. Boris Navasardyan, Chairman of the Yerevan Press Club.
The participants of the discussion expressed their concern with the fact that the draft law on amendments and additions in RA law on Television and Radio had not been discussed with the civil society.  This was especially worrisome in view of the fact that the organizations active in the field of media have been working on a package of amendments and on numerous occasions have indicated their readiness for collaboration with the government.  During the discussions, representatives of the civil society expressed hope that they will be able to have their input in the development of the new draft. The Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, who was present throughout the duration of the discussion, mentioned that the OSCE has the possibility of providing expertise on the draft and will readily use that opportunity provided the government of RA turns to the OSCE with such a request.  Mr. Shavarsh Kocharyan, a member of the National Assembly, emphasized that it would be right to send the draft law for expertise to the European Council as well.  The participants expressed hope that the government would involve the civil society in the process of development of the new draft, just as it was recommended by Ambassador Haraszti, OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media, in the report published after he paid a visit to Yerevan last June to assess the situation of media freedom in the country.

During the discussion, there were many references to Ambassador Haraszti’s report, which has been posted on the OSCE website for a few months already.  The references mainly related to the regulating body, licensing process, print media dissemination (the “Law on Postal Services” regards the delivery of print media by subscription as a “postal service,” subject to licensing, which contradicts Article 10 of European Convention on “Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”), advertisement and other important issues.  Reflecting on all the issues mentioned above is of crucial importance from the perspective of development of independent media in the country.

During the discussion, RA Human Rights Defender Mr. Armen Harutyunyan presented his points of view and advocated for inclusion of civil society organizations in the process of developing new amendments to the law.  Mr. Harutyunyan submitted his recommendations in written to Ms. Hakobyan (the document can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice).

Member organizations of the “Partnership for Open Society” initiative – Yerevan Press Club, “Internews” media support NGO, “Asparez” Journalists’ Club, Journalist Union of Armenia, Committee on Protection of Freedom of Speech - have elaborated a package of suggestions on the amendments to the law and submitted it a few days ago to the website of the Ministry of Justice.

Presentation of Annual Report of Public Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Justice, October 5
The Public Monitoring Group of the Ministry of Justice, jointly with the Partnership presented the annual report of activities implemented in 2005.  Opening remarks were delivered by Chairman of the Public Monitoring Group Mr. Michael Baghdasaryan.  Mr. Avetik Ishkhanyan presented the report and Mr. Nikolai Arustamyan, chairperson of Legal Reforms Department of the Ministry of Justice presented official interpretation of the report.

Discussion over the issue of civil society involvement in MCA implementation in Armenia, July 24
A discussion over the issue of civil society involvement in MCA implementation in Armenia was  held by POS. Presentations were made by Ms. Nazeli Vardanyan, "Armenian Forests" NGO, Member of MCA Governing Council, Mr. Levon Barseghyan, Asparez Journalists' Club, Member of MCA Stakeholders Committee, Ms. Jemma Hasratyan, Association of Women with University Education, Civil Society Representative at the Board of Trustees during MCA program initial stage.

MCA Project Governing and Supervisory bodies

Discussion on Open Source Utilization and Relevant Policies, July 21
Presentation of assessment of generatl situation with Open Source utilization and relevant policies in Armenia will be held by POS on July 21 at 16:00 at the Picasso hall of Congress hotel.  Presentations will be made by Mr. David Sandukhchyan, Head of INformation Policy and Rights Center and Ms. Taguhi Tumanyan, Expert of Information Policy and Rights Center.

Discussion over RA draft Law On Lobbyist Activities, June 22
A discussion over RA draft Law "On Lobbyist Activities" will be held by POS on June 22 at 11:00 at the Erato Hall of Armenia Marriott hotel.  Presentations will be made by Mr. David Sandukhchyan, Head of Legal Department, Internews-Armenia NGO, Mr. Ashot Abovyan, Deputy minister of Justice and Ms. Sona Ayvazyan, Program Officer, Center for Regional Development/Transparency International.

Human Rights Watch Annual Report Discussion, May 25, 2006
A discussion of the Annual Report of Human Rights Watch was held by POS on May 25.  Presentations were made by Mr. Boris Navasardyan, Yerevan Press Club and Mr. Avetik Ishkhanyan, Armenian Helsinki Committee and Ms. Rachel Denber, Human Rights Watch.  The presentation made by Mr. Ishkhanyan covered such topics as freedom of assembly, state violence, intimidation and torture, freedom of religion and Human Rights Defender all of which were covered by the HRW Report.  Mr. Navasardyan covered the issue of freedom of speech and information in Armenia and presented an analysis of the media situation in Armenia.  Both presenters referred to the Statement of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to the publication of HRW 2006 report.

Ms. Denber, Human Rights Watch representative, was on the line from New York and participated in the discussion.  She mentioned that the statement presented by the RA MFA was first of a kind throughout the operation of the Human Rights Watch.  She explained that the aim of the report is to promote a positive change in human rights issues in all countries through a change in policies and practices by the states as well as to strengthen the collaboration with all organizations involved in human rights.  As the co-author and editor of the part of the report on Armenia she expressed her concern with the defensive response of RA MFA with regard to the report in general.  Ms. Denber mentioned that the HRW has limited capacity for elaboration of all issues in the report and agreed that there may be discrepancies with regard to the facts and numbers presented.  Nevertheless she mentioned that such issue as torture is a problem for all countries of the world, whereas there is no acknowledgement from the Republic of Armenia that there were instances of torture.  Ms. Denber elaborated on the issues of freedom of assembly and media in Armenia.  

Mr. Tigran Samvelian Head of the Human Rights Division of MFA was present at the discussion.  After the speech of Ms. Denber he clarified that the Statement of MFA had no other intention but to establish good relations with HRW and promote future collaboration.    He also brought about some official statistics with regard to the issues mentioned in the HRW report.  After the presentations of the speakers the floor was open for discussion and questions by media and civil society representatives.

RA Current Policies on National Minorities, May 2
A discussion on the topic "RA CUrrent Policies on National Minorities" was held by Partnership for Open Society Initiative on May 2nd.  Presentations were made by Ms. Hranush Kharatyan, RA Government, Department of National Minorities and Religious Affairs, Mr. Vigen Kocharyan, Law Department,  YSU, Council of Europe's Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Ms. Irina Gasparyan, Assyrian Community and Mr. Siaband Bakoyan, "Ezdikhana" Organization.

Representatives of Greek, Yezdi, Russian, Ukrainian, Assyrian, Jewish, German communities were invitied to the disucssion.  During the event the draft law on National Minorities was presented and discussed in some detail by Ms. Kharatyan.  Legal mechanisms and international standards for for regulation of issues regarding national minorities were discussed.  Ms Gasparyan and Mr. Bakoyan presented the perspectives of their respective communities with the issue of national minorities in Armenia, which was followed by a heated discussion with participation of representatives from various communities.

The Role of NGOs in MCA Implementation in Armenia, February 3
A discussion on the topic of involvement of NGOs in MCA implementation in Armenia was organized by POS on February 3.  Presentations were made by Mr. Levon Barseghyan,  Head of "Asparez" Journalists' Club, Mr. Arman Vardanyan, Head of Social Policy and Development Center NGO and Mr. Vahan Movsisyan, Head of Community Finance Officers Association.  During the event such issues as involvement of civil society representatives in MCA Implementation and monitoring as well as the correspondence between Ambassador John Danilovich and Armenian authorities were discussed.


06.10.2015 | News
Description of audit activities on potential fraud and abuse in “ENA” CJSC.
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11.03.2016 | Upcoming Events
Public discussion series “Draft of New Electoral Code and Issues of Realization of Electoral Right in Armenia” in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor.

The Partnership for Open Society Initiative, representing more than 60 civil society organizations, is pleased to invite you to participate in public discussion series titled “Draft of New Electoral Code and Issues of Realization of Electoral Right in Armenia” in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor.

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POS statements

15.02.2016 | Statements
Statement on the Drafting of the New Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia.

We would like to call your attention to the statement on the Drafting of the New Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia. The statement is open for signature.

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