Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the event entitled "Armenia. One Year of Democratic Transition"



On June 24, the event entitled "Armenia. One Year of Democratic Transition" was held in the United Nations Office at Geneva, organized by the Permanent Mission of Armenia. During the event, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Ombudsman the Republic of Armenia Arman Tatoyan and Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, the UN Special Rapporteur delivered remarks as the  keynote speakers. The event was attended by Ambassadors accredited in Geneva, representatives of diplomatic missions and different UN agencies.

In his remarks, Minister Mnatsakanyan presented the recent domestic political developments in Armenia, the ambitious reforms being implemented by the Government of Armenia, based on the broad popular mandate and aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms, strengthening the justice system and rule of law, ensuring equal rights and opportunities in economic and social life. 

“In order to complete this revolution, we need to achieve, in essence, the most important thing, a genuinely independent and impartial judiciary, and today this is the biggest priority. Again, the Government is absolutely determined to introduce reforms, practical and legal, which will raise the trust of the public towards the judiciary. We believe this is the ultimate objective of the current stage and we cooperate with international organizations, Council of Europe, as an important source of expertise and knowledge.” 

The Foreign Minister of Armenia emphasized the role of the civil society in the processes ongoing in the country, noting that the revolution demonstrated the power of civil society, the high level of political maturity and legal literacy of the Armenian society, emphasized the Government accountability to the public - implemented through different channels, including the media.

“The only flag in all those demonstrations in the squares and streets of Armenia was the tricolor of Armenia. And that was the whole message. There was no geopolitics in our revolution. It was our internal matter. This is the kind of country we want to build. This is all about us. And it is not about geopolitics. We had to go through certain phases where our revolution had certain implications in one direction or the other. And we have been patient enough to insist that we have been building a national security architecture in a careful way and this is a responsible government that will continue to be very sensitive about national security in a way that talking about it is out of the question. And we are faithful to our commitments on internationally, we are faithful to our relations with all our partners, and we will carry on with that.”

In the Q&A session that followed the speakers’ remarks, the sides touched upon the steps taken in the sphere of human rights protection, advancing the agenda of women's rights to the global and international level in Armenia, and the domestic and foreign policy priorities of Armenia. 

In response to Azerbaijani diplomat on the democratic changes in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Minister Mnatsakanyan mentioned: “Armenia is confident in the ongoing democratic processes and believes that democracy in the region, in all the countries of the region would be a great contribution to peace and stability in the entire region. Touching upon the Karabakh conflict, I had the opportunity to speak about it earlier, and I want to stress again that Artsakh is the people. There are 150,000 real people living in Artsakh with their names, families and serious physical security concerns.

Why? Because I don't want to remind it, but 70 years of jurisdiction of Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has been faced with continuous systematic descrimination. In the early 1990s there was a moment, there were occasions that over 40 percent of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was under the control of Azerbaijan over 40 percent of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been cleansed. There was a moment when there might be no discussions on Nagorno-Karabakh, because there might be no Nagorno-Karabakh at all. There was subsequent continuous government-led hate propaganda, hatred, armenophobia, which have been raising seriously our claim about the threats to the existential physical security. The glorification of murders of Ramil Safarov is a case in point. When a psychopath kills an Armenian officer in the middle of the night, a sleeping officer, and then turns up in Azerbaijan and is received as a hero of the nation for the fact of killing an Armenian is something to reflect upon for the public of Azerbaijan. 

When it is repeated, as a sign of encouragement, subsequently during the aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016, is something to reflect upon for the public of Azerbaijan. So it is all about the human beings, those human beings in Nagorno-Karabakh, 150 thousand of them and their existential physical security. There is no other security arrangement for these people than the one that exists today. Armenia is a guarantor for the security of Nagorno-Karabakh because there is no other guarantee. Will we accept a situation where we again face obliteration? No. Do we want peace? Absolutely. Is there an alternative to peace? This is also something to reflect on.”