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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Nairi Petrossian at the UPR Pre-Session meeting between civil society, National Human Rights Institutions and Permanent Missions

19.12.2019

Thank you, Moderator.

At the outset, I’d like to thank the organizers for setting up this meeting and providing us with an ample opportunity to present priorities of Armenia in an open discussion with the interested civil society stakeholders.

We consider the UPR process a valuable and effective tool that facilitates shaping, developing and strengthening of our national Human Rights agenda in a frank debate both with civil society and our international partners. We consider this exercise to be a two-way street, in which we review each other’s progress in the field of human rights, outline and exchange ideas and discuss further possible actions.

We are of a view that in order to promote and protect human rights, one needs to look at home base and build a domestic capacity, which should empower both the authorities, national human rights institutions and a vibrant civil society. All three are important, and should be natural and homegrown; none of them can be substituted by foreign actors or nurtured through external interventions.

By the same token, international assistance should not be perfunctorily rejected as an illegitimate intervention but rather be sought and welcomed. A good example in this regard is the Office of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia, which enjoys trust of the Armenian public as well as extensive international cooperation.

In May 2019 Armenia has embarked on an ambitious judicial reform process, followed by developing and approving the “Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms and its Action Plans 2019-2023”. This Strategy was elaborated in order to ensure the absolute priority of having a truly independent and effective judiciary that is free of corruption, patronage and nepotism.

Armenia is committed to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls both on national and international levels, especially in the peace and security context. In this regard it is noteworthy to mention that in February 2019 Armenia adopted its first National Action Plan on the implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

In conclusion, we highlight the valuable contribution of the civil society both in the preparation of the national reports and in the implementation of the UPR outcomes. Armenia believes that every State should take all possible measures to enable and ensure the legitimate right of civil society to participate in all stages of the UPR process, including through the UPR pre-sessions.

I thank you.