01, 2012

President Serzh Sargsyan met with the members of the newly created Commission on Ethics

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President Serzh Sargsyan signed a decree to form a Commission on Ethics of the High-level Officials. Lilit Petrossian, who was nominated by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Armen Khudaverdian, who was nominated by the Prime Minister of Armenia, Areg Shushian, who was nominated by the Chairman of the RA Constitutional Court, Emil Babayan, who was nominated by the Chairman of the RA Court of Cassation and Artak Sarkissian, who was nominated by the RA Prosecutor General have been appointed members of the Commission for a six-year term.

The Commission has already invited its first meeting. At the meeting elected were the Chairman and the Vice Chair of the Commission - Emil Babayan was elected the Chairman and Areg Shushian was elected the Vice Chairman of the Commission.

Today, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the members of the newly created Commission on Ethics. At the meeting, the President of Armenia presented his vision of the Commission’s work and stressed the importance of this structure’s mission.

The President noted that in recent years the Republic of Armenia has been undertaking consistent steps aimed at the reformation and improvement of the activities of the officials and the state bodies, including through the introduction and implementation of the anticorruption measures in the state structures. According to Serzh Sargsyan, the Law on Civil Service, adopted in 2011, was a logical continuation of that process. A basic requirement of the law is the creation of the ethics commission of the high-level officials.

“From now on, issues related to the creation and functioning of the Commission, will naturally be under special public scrutiny, while activities of the Commission should in fact become the standards for structural changes, better opportunities for fight against corruption as well as for changing social attitude and behavior regarding corruption,” the President of Armenia stressed.

According to the President of Armenia, the Commission’s mission is to increase social trust toward public institutions in our country, create a system of good governance, as well as make activities of the high-level officials more transparent and public. He also said that the area of the Commission’s expertise should include analysis and publication of the data on the officials’ income and estate, disclosure of the conflict of interests and violation of ethical norms, publication of the concrete materials on the breach of ethics and other activities.

“I believe that under these conditions, the independent status of the Commission requires great responsibility on behalf of the members of the Commission both in exercising their authority and, naturally, manifestation of the best professional skills and abilities and, most importantly, political impartiality and neutrality in drawing conclusions and making proposals. I would like to underscore that any influence on the members of the Commission must be excluded; you must be influenced only by the law and your personal moral standards,” the President of Armenia said.

Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the establishment of the Commission will become a cornerstone of the institutional structure which will make Armenia a better place.

The President underlined that he would keep the activities of the Commission in the focus of his attention. He also said that he expects the Commission to conclude in the shortest period of time its works related to the adoption of the efficient and transparent internal procedures. According to the President, the Presidential Administration will provide for the Commission’s technical base as needed.

President Sargsyan noted that in the formation and development of the Commission, he anticipates establishment of close working relations with all those state structures which are functioning based on the RA Law on Civil Service. He also stressed the importance of work with the civil society and underscored that any proposals, comments and notes must be given due consideration.

“I am well aware of your professional abilities, and I also know that you have to some extend studied the international experience, and this is an area where your knowledge and experience must be utilized and utilized efficiently,” the President of Armenia stressed.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Serzh Sargsyan wished the members of the Commission success in their high and responsible mission.

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