YEREVAN. – Speaker Alen Simonyan of the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia on Thursday addressed the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the NA communication and public relations department reports.
In his online address, entitled "Activities of Democratic Institutions in Armenia," the parliament speaker highlighted the PACE and the Council of Europe’s positive assessment of the progress of democratic developments in Armenia. He stressed that Armenia prioritizes the development of democratic institutions, the rule of law, the promotion of human rights, and the fight against corruption.
Simonyan stressed that twice in the last three years, Armenia has reaffirmed—through the non-violent, velvet revolution in 2018 and after the devastating 44-day war in 2021—its commitment to democratic values. He drew attention to the fact that Armenia has passed the decisive test of democracy and the rule of law, successfully conducting the June 20, 2021 snap parliamentary elections.
The NA President spoke also about the grave consequences of the 44-day war unleashed against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). According to him, the biggest challenge remains Armenia's security. Alen Simonyan stressed that the Armenian people and their democratic achievements have been under constant threat since September 2020. The speaker of the Armenian parliament said that only peace can ensure long-term security and stability, the final implementation of which depends also on the other countries in the region and the assistance by European organizations. In this context, the NA speaker stressed the OSCE and the Council of Europe, reaffirming the need to achieve a fair and long-term settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict—including the safe return of Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees being kept in Azerbaijan.
Alen Simonyan informed his European colleagues that reforms aimed at strengthening the electoral process continue in Armenia. He noted that a new round of respective discussions has started within the framework of the newly established Constitutional Reform Council.
The address of the speaker of the Armenian legislature comprehensively touched also upon the reform of the judicial authorities and the anti-corruption policy of Armenia.