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The Anti-Corruption Policy Council held today its first session chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as reported the Department of Information and Public Relations of the Government of Armenia.

Prime Minister Pashinyan delivered his opening remarks and stated the following:

“Today the Anti-Corruption Policy Council is holding its first session, but before we move to the agenda, I would like to emphasize a couple of things.

Overall, what is the main problem in the fight against corruption in the Republic of Armenia? The problem is there have been a lot of talks about it, but the reality hasn’t changed. There have been many reasons for this, and I believe the most important reason has been the lack of political will.

Today, the Government of Armenia unequivocally has the highest level of political will to lead a fundamental struggle against corruption, but even today, the fight against corruption in Armenia is not being led at the level of effectiveness that would correspond to the political will of the Government of Armenia.

It is safe to say that this is due to the absence of well-established institutional mechanisms. Today, our objective is to create mechanisms that will make the fight against corruption in Armenia correspond to the political will of the government and the majority of Armenia’s parliament.

Of course, in this context, we also face certain challenges, and for me, the major challenge is the organizing of the fight against corruption in such a way that it doesn’t cause harm to the image of democracy in Armenia.

These are also very important objectives that we are setting and must set forth for ourselves, but one thing is clear and unequivocal: leading the roughest fight against corruption is unquestionable for the government and the parliamentary majority of Armenia.

I would like to express gratitude to our partners in parliament, the Human Rights Defender and representatives of non-governmental organizations who are involved in this process upon their consent, and I hope we succeed in making these efforts truly successful.”

Minister of Justice Rustam Badasyan presented the draft of the Anti-Corruption Strategy of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan (posted on e-draft.am) and stated that discussions with civil society representatives and representatives of NGOs continue.

Presenting the Strategy, the minister stated that consistent implementation of the conceptual provisions and principles of the Government of Armenia is prescribed as the main goal of the Anti-Corruption Strategy. According to Rustam Badasyan, the establishment of two main institutions — Commission for Prevention of Corruption and Anti-Corruption Committee — are being considered in the sense of the anti-corruption institutional model for implementation of the anti-corruption policy.

The minister also presented the main conceptual directions of the 2019-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms in the Republic of Armenia and said the reforms will be made in two stages, including short-term and long-term.

The justice minister’s speech was followed by an exchange of ideas. Issues related to the scope of competence, status and functions of the Anti-Corruption Committee, replenishment of specialists of the Committee; the powers of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption; the fight against systemic corruption; the system of declaration; the monitoring of results of the fight against corruption; the integrity of judges; the properties of officials, specification of the mechanisms for verifying the transparency of their revenues and their integrity and other issues were discussed, and several recommendations were made.

Prime Minister Pashinyan assigned the justice minister to continue discussions on the recommendations on the Anti-Corruption Strategy with interested state organizations and non-governmental organizations and submit the revised draft for consideration during the next session of the Council.

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