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STATEMENT In Response to the Report of ODIHR Director Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

17.10.2019

STATEMENT
In Response to the Report of ODIHR Director Ms. Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

as delivered by Ambassador Armen Papikyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia at the 1244 Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council
October 17, 2019

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to start by thanking ODIHR Director Ms Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir for her report on this year`s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and follow up comments as to how improve this important and flagship exercise of the OSCE Human Dimension. Let me also express our gratitude to the Government of Poland and the OSCE Slovak Chairmanship for the organization of Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

Using this opportunity, I would like to once again reiterate Armenia`s long standing position regarding the inclusive nature of the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. We attach great importance to the active and unhindered participation of NGOs and representatives of civil society including those coming from conflict zones.

We fully share your assessment that it is the large number of civil society representatives discussing the human rights and democracy related issues with the participating states on equal footing that makes HDIM a unique platform. In this regard let me express our satisfaction that a relatively large number of NGOs and civil society representatives coming from Armenia and rather limited Governmental delegation contributed to the deliberations. The participation of new representatives of the Armenian civil society, previously holding high-level governmental positions and now known for their strong opposition and critic towards the current Armenian Government is a vivid demonstration of the maturity of processes in the Armenian political and public life.

Mr. Chairman,

It is unfortunate that despite the OSCE Slovak Chairmanship’s strong commitment to human centric approach human rights and fundamental freedoms of people residing in conflict areas was not examined in HDIM as a specifically selected topic due to the objection of a handful of OSCE participating States. It is our strong belief that the current practice of discussing them only in one dimension from different perspective does not promote effective and evenhanded approach both towards conflicts and OSCE dimensions and therefore should be changed.

The substantial discussions on human rights of people residing in conflict areas would be an excellent opportunity, would help to prevent attempts to misuse and abuse almost all agenda items in order to cover up poor human rights records by invoking conflict related narratives.

We underline the importance of the sessions devoted to Hate Crimes and discrimination. We believe that particular attention should be given to the issues related to incitement of hatred and intolerance, especially when it comes from the political and religious leaders, since there are many such disturbing examples in the OSCE area.

Madame Director, in your report you mention the shrinking space for civil society and human rights defenders. Indeed, this year we have witnessed even more increased number of GONGOs who hijack the place of real civil society and promote narratives and positions of their respective governments.
We also note and encourage you to continue to explore as to how the current system of signing up to the speakers’ list can be further improved. Additional efforts are needed to improve the moderation as well, since the increased number of points of orders, inter alia, alerts to the increased cases of misconduct, and it is encouraging that you also referred to this in your report. The more effective and professional moderation can be the right way to proceed.

In conclusion, let me thank you, Madame Director, for your consistent efforts towards further improving the organization of the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings. I assure you that you can always count on the support of my delegation.

I thank you.