June 24, 2023
Eastern Partnership CSF Armenian National Platform Assembly hosted Republic of Armenia Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan, approved code of ethics and selected an ethics board 

Yerevan, 23 June 2023

The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform has held an ordinary Assembly attended by SCP ANP 23 members out of the total number of 42, while 17 more members were represented at the event through their proxies.

The Assembly hosted the Secretary of the RA Security Council Armen Grigoryan. A discussion touched on the security of Armenia and Artsakh, perspectives of a peace agreement with Azerbaijan, blockade of the Lachin Corridor, border demarcation and delimitation, deblocking of roads and risks of a renewed escalation. The Secretary of the RA Security Council thanked ANP facilitator Hovsep Khurshudyan for raising the issue of ratification of the Rome Statute before the top leadership of the country in June 2022, thanks to which the relevant process began. At the end of the meeting, Armen Grigoryan answered the questions of the forum participants

During the next session, ANP Coordinator Hovsep Khurshudyan presented the Eastern Partnership CSF Steering Committee co-chairs’ reply to the letter, that the Yerevan Press Club’s representative Seda Shiganyan had submitted to the Eastern Partnership CSF Compliance Committee as well as to the materials representing the process preceding it. In their reply, the CSF Steering Committee co-chairs asked for additional time to read carefully all the documents, to understand everything, and consider the proper way forward. The ANP Coordinator also presented the CSF Secretariat Director’s letter in which the latter agreed with her colleagues from the Steering Committee, opining that to ensure the credibility of the process and allow a comprehensive and objective approach to identify a solution, it would be wise to refrain from running activities/meetings that have statutory and/or decision-making implications, such as the one are planned on 23 June.

Taking into account the request and opinions in both letters, the ANP Coordinator proposed to follow the Steering Committee Co-chairs’ request and take into consideration the CSF Secretariat Director’s opinion, to abstain from adopting the full package of Statute amendments and called on the 8 delegated who initiated the Delegates’ Meeting to refrain from making a decision on the agenda matter, until replies to the letter of Seda Shiganyan will be received from the Compliance Committee and the Steering Committee. For that purpose, he withdrew his version of the agenda and proposed to discuss its abridged version.  

Besides, in order to restore the environment of mutual trust recently damaged due to some unhealthy developments inside the ANP, the ANP Coordinator restated his proposal made earlier to all ANP interested parties to join the Statute Amendments Commission and develop a consensual package of amendment proposals. For the same purpose, he proposed to jointly set up an ethics board with balanced membership, ensuring the representation of all interested parties.

None of the 14 signatories of the petition, calling on to pass a no-confidence decision against the ANP Coordinator, who attended the Assembly, reacted to the ANP Coordinator’s proposals.  

Speaking on behalf of all the signatories, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression NGO Chairman Ashot Melikyan announced that they decline to refrain from holding another vote on their initiative to terminate the powers of the ANP Coordinator, the first attempt of which was unsuccessful in the first voting on 9 June at the Delegates’ Meeting. He also requested that the Delegates’ Meeting be held prior to all other agenda points.

The chairperson of the session put the proposal to the vote of the ANP Assembly, which rejected it, being backed by only 16, while 23 voted against it and 1 abstained.

The chairperson put to the vote another proposal on confirming the following points of the agenda: adopting a Code of Ethics, selecting members of the Ethics Council, and concluding the work of the Assembly without entitling the Delegates’ Meeting to pass a decision on holding a repeat voting on the matter of termination of the ANP Coordinator’s powers following the voting held at the Delegates’ Meeting on 9 June, in which the decision expressing no confidence in Hovsep Khurshudyan was not accepted..

The proposal was approved with 22 votes in favor, 16 votes against, and 2 abstentions.

Following this voting Ashot Melikyan announced that they leave the ANP Assembly and plan to hold a Delegates’ Meeting at a different venue, following which some of the ANP participants left the conference hall.

The Assembly continued its work, starting with deliberations on the Code of Ethics, whose proposal was submitted by Syuzanna Soghomonyan from the Statute amendment commission then moving on to the ANP Statute points referring to the establishment of the Ethics Council. After including in the draft document some proposals made by the participants, the Code of Ethics was approved with 22 votes in favor, 1 against, and no abstentions.

Then the proposal of technical amendments in the Statute regarding the establishment of the Ethics Council was put to the vote, being likewise approved with 22 votes in favor, 1 vote against, and no abstentions. A number of nominations were made for the Ethics Board, out of which the following candidates were selected.

Levon Barseghyan: 23 votes in favor, 0 against, 0 abstained

Karen Chilingaryan:  21 votes in favor, 0 against, 2 abstained

Lusine Hakobyan: 21 votes in favor, 1 against, 1 abstained

At the end of the session, Stepan Grigoryan’s application for granting the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation NGO provisional membership to the ANP was considered and approved with 22 votes in favor and one abstention.

With this, the Assembly concluded its work.

Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Armenian National Platform Secretariat