07, 2019

President Armen Sarkissian’s Address on the occasion of Constitution Day

"The Armenian people-taking as a basis the fundamental principles of the Armenian Statehood and the nation-wide objectives enshrined in the Declaration of Independence of Armenia, having fulfilled the sacred behest of its freedom-loving ancestors for the restoration of the sovereign state, committed to the strengthening and prosperity of the fatherland, with a view of ensuring the freedom of generations, general well-being and civic solidarity, assuring the allegiance to universal values - hereby adopt the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.”

This is the credo that the Armenian people set in the Preamble of the Constitution adopted through a referendum on July 5, 1995. Although, the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia has twice undergone radical changes, it remained faithful to this credo.

Dear fellow compatriots,

I congratulate all of us on the occasion of the most remarkable state holiday-Constitution Day. Today, we are celebrating the Day of State Symbols, as well. The Constitution, in conjunction with the state flag, the coat of arms and the anthem, completes the essence of statehood.

The Constitution is the Main Law of the Republic, as well as the main legal safeguard to protect the rights and freedoms of each of us. The consolidation of the constitutional culture is the most important precondition to build up, accomplish and develop democracy, the rule of law and social state.

The Article 1 of the Constitution establishes our vision of the State by proclaiming the Republic of Armenia a democratic and social state governed by the rule of law. This non-amendable provision, indeed, does not have a purely declarative nature. It is established as an essential principle, a value, an aim, an ideal legal and social norm, to which both the state bodies and every citizen of the Republic of Armenia should constantly strive by the means of continuous improvement, daily work and conduct.

In general, constitutional provisions along with legal content contain a philosophy and a system of values. Respecting the Main Law is not only a simple respect towards our state and statehood, but also a manifestation of respect for our past, present and future, for our generations, and ourselves, and towards our vision of the state.

We are all equal before the Constitution. We are all bearers of statehood and its constituent; hence, we are also guardians of the Constitution through our actions, behavior and our mindset.

Moreover, of importance is not only and not as much the formal stipulation of constitutional provisions, as and especially the formation of the constitutional culture, the constitutional mindset, as well as an honest and logical interpretation and implementation of the Constitution.

Even a constitution with the most ideal formulations will at best turn into a document with no value in the case of a dishonest interpretation or implementation.

The Constitution is also a living and developing legal document reflecting challenges and imperatives of the time. Any change, amendment, improvement or evolutionary interpretation of the Constitution should be based on the principle of the rule of law and proceed from general principles of law, thus contributing to a swift, non-convulsive, natural, sustainable and continuous development of our state.

At all times, the Constitution should remain a uniting axis for our society, our nation and our citizens. Only the country, which fully lives by the Constitution, and whose authorities and the society fully respect the Constitution, can develop and occupy a stable position in this increasingly complex and changing world.

Once again, congratulations to all of us on this celebration, and I wish all of us peace, prosperity and optimism. 

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