Anne Brasseur's Concluding Statement after Her Yerevan Visit
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Anne Brasseur at the end of the visit welcomed the steady advancement of Armenia on the path of implementing the commitments and obligations it undertook when joining the Council of Europe.
"Since joining the organisation 14 years ago, important progress has been made but a number of issues still remain: the judiciary must be fully independent and immune from undue influence; impunity should be addressed and judicial, investigatory and prosecutorial authorities should work in full transparency, so that citizens can trust institutions; the fight against corruption must be vigorously pursued. I welcome the good co-operation between Armenia and the Council of Europe within the framework of the Action Plan 2012-2014 and encourage the authorities to develop new follow-up programes," – the official website of the Parliamentary Assembly quotes the words of PACE President.
The issue of constitutional reform was in focus during all the President’s discussions. While welcoming positive co-operation with the Venice Commission, she stressed the need to organise a wide political debate about the reform proposals, with the participation of all political and civil society stakeholders. "Constitutional reform should strengthen and consolidate democratic institutions further and not divide the country.
The amendments to be drafted should comply with European standards and be adopted on the basis of a large consensus within society. The Council of Europe is at your disposal to provide support," - said Ms Brasseur.
Combating domestic violence and violence against women was also at the centre of the President’s talks. "It is a real issue in Armenia, as shown, in particular, by the recent report of the Human Rights Commissioner, and I called upon all my interlocutors to take urgent action on all fronts to address it, including by acceding to the Council of Europe Convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence. I understand that preparatory work has been launched and look forward to Armenia’s joining this Convention soon."
Turning to regional issues, the PACE President discussed the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as relations between Armenia and Turkey.
"When joining the Council of Europe, Armenia and Azerbaijan committed themselves to continue efforts to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful means only. Our Assembly has consistently expressed support for the settlement efforts, in particular by the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. I would like to thank all my Armenian interlocutors for having explained to me – in a very frank and open manner – their views on the Assembly’s activities on issues relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I agree that this issue is very complex and has to be examined without haste and taking into account all factors. All Assembly reports must be balanced and take into account the views of all sides. As President, it is my duty to guarantee the implementation of decisions taken by Assembly bodies," - stressed the President.
As regards relations between Armenia and Turkey, the President stressed that both countries share a common history and, as members of the Council of Europe, adhere to the same values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. "I am confident that these very values, which unite all Council of Europe member states, will help both countries make – together – peace with the past and build a shared future. In this context, during my visit I paid tribute to the victims of the 1915 massacres and highlighted the role that the Council of Europe should play in preventing such atrocities from happening again. It is the Council of Europe’s mission to uphold our values and promote the principles of respect and tolerance. We must learn the lessons of Europe’s history and stay united to vigorously combat manifestations of hate and intolerance, as well as promote dialogue and living together," - concluded the PACE President.
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