Video message by Ara Aivazian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on the 20th Anniversary of Armenia’s accession to the Council of Europe25 January, 2021
Today we celebrate 20 years since Armenia’s membership to the Council of Europe, the most invaluable standard-setting organisation on our continent.
By acceding to the Council of Europe, Armenia joined the family of European states, with whom it shares common history, values, and ideals, as well as a vision of a future Europe, where fundamental rights and freedoms are protected for all, without distinction or discrimination.
Armenia acknowledges and values the input of this unique organisation that has remained the main human rights and democracy watchdog in Europe for over 70 years of its existence.
The two decades of Armenia’s membership to the Council of Europe were a period of active participation and sincere cooperation. Armenia has now joined over 70 Council of Europe conventions and partial agreements, essentially building legal bridges with the Member States of the organisation. In 2013 Armenia held the Presidency in the Committee of Ministers, steering common European efforts for democratic action.
Democratic reforms remain a key area of our interactions with the Council of Europe, where the organisation, with its valuable expertise, has become a trusted partner of Armenia. The Council of Europe, its experts, its monitoring and specialized bodies, such as the Venice Commission, have all had a significant contribution in our efforts to build a just and democratic society, in devising policies that would better uphold human rights and the rule of law.
Armenia has been faithful to the commitments undertaken at the accession to the Council of Europe, including the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The recent war in Artsakh had a devastating impact on the fundamental rights and the livelihood of its people. We trust that the Council of Europe recognizes these challenges and will take steps within its mandate to protect the rights, the freedoms and the dignity of all people living in conflict zones, including in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On this special occasion of the 20th Anniversary, I would like to reiterate Armenia’s dedication to the principles and aims of the Council of Europe.