The second workshop on the Implementation of Armenia’s National Human Rights Action Plan was organized jointly by United Nations Office in Armenia and the RA Ministry of Justice on 26-27 February, 2016. The two-day workshop brought together a broad network of representatives of RA Government agencies, National Assembly, Office of the Human Rights Defender, international and civil society organizations to discuss the progress, challenges and next steps for a synergized implementation of Armenia’s Human Rights framework.
Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, and Arpine Hovhannisyan, RA Minister of Justice, addressed the workshop participants emphasizing the importance of such initiatives that open new avenues for a viable dialogue around the broad spectrum of human rights issues and set of commitments for joint implementation of actions.
“I would like to urge everyone to be as ambitious as possible with implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan and would like to call upon moving together from advocating and planning to concrete and measureable actions”, said Mr. Busetto. He also highlighted in his opening speech several critical areas and urged for accelerated actions on setting up the necessary mechanisms to eliminate torture, adopt separate law on anti-discrimination and law on domestic violence, and other imperative actions.
“Protection of human rights is a vital guarantee which needs permanent improvement and institutionalization. The RA Government will ensure that the steps leading to the protection of human rights in Armenia are effective,” the Minister of Justice noted. She also emphasized the importance of cooperation with international and local partners on promotion of human rights.
Parallel to an ample discourse on the progress, challenges and lessons learnt with implementation of 119 activities of the Human Rights Action Plan, working group discussions were held and a package of recommendations was put forward with particular focus on monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and publicity of the document.
The two-day dialogue between the government and the civil society, with contributions from international organizations, and the outcomes of the working groups laid a ground for the design of the next Human Rights Action Plan.
Summarizing the two day workshop, interlocutors once again emphasized the importance of the initiative and mentioned that, although there has been progress in the implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan, it remains a living document to provide a room for more measurable results.