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Enlarged Session of the OGP Working Group


On 03 March 2015, an enlarged session of the OGP Working Group (WG) was held. The session was attended not only by OGP WG members but also by the representatives of local and international organizations. The event was organized by the RA Government, jointly with Freedom of Information Center NGO, with the assistance of the British Embassy in Yerevan.

The session was aimed at presenting the course of implementation of OGP - Armenia’s Second Action Plan to the public and to discuss effective ways of cooperation between the Government and civil society.

In his opening remarks, the First Deputy Minister-Chief of Government Staff of the RA and OGP-Armenia Coordinator Gurgen Dumanyan noted: “Cooperation between civil society and Government within the framework of Open Governance Partnership Initiative is already a tradition and a well-established reality. This is a very important fact since the entire philosophy and logic of the OGP initiative is built on this cooperation and dialogue. We indeed acknowledge that increasing the transparency and accountability of public governance is not an easy process, as it requires political will and consistent efforts. Once again I would like to emphasize that the Government of the Republic of Armenia is adamant in demonstrating the political will and together with you will consistently continue realization of the tasks it faces”, Mr. Dumanyan assured.

The participants were welcomed as well by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Armenia Mrs. Kathy Leach, who stressed the importance of such meetings and expressed hope that this format of cooperation between civil society and Government will have its positive impact on the promotion of open and transparent governance.

Afterwards the OGP WG members presented the course of implementation of the Action Plan,versus all 11 commitments. Active discussions were held especially when the implementation of commitments concerning mining industry and joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was addressed. Head of the Lithosphere Department in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Vardan Vardanyan noted that the process ofdigitalizing the archive of the Republican Geological Fund is underway and these activities will be fully completed in the scheduled timeframes. He added that several private mining companies have already expressed readiness to make the mining processes transparent. The Representative of the USAID, Arev Movsisyan, also provided information concerning the jointing the EITI, noting that the USAID assists the Government of Armenia in its activities aimed at increasing transparency of the mining industry and joining the EITI. In response to the question on whether or not joining the EITI will createcontradictions with the requirements of membership to the Eurasian Customs Union, Mr. Vardanyan answered “No”.

The representative of the Staff of the Government of Armenia and OGP WG member Aram Asatryan presented a summary of responses received from state agencies concerning the implementation of each commitment, stating that the implementation of the Action Plan goes in line with the schedule. However he noted that several commitments whose deadline of implementation is defined for December 2016 should be,where possible,completed before this deadline, i.e. before June 2016, in accordance to the OGP headquarters’ schedule.

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