By Dr. Souren Seraydarian, Vienna, 28 November 2023
Yerevan, Oct. 27-29—Some 225 lawyers, international law, and human rights specialists from 34 countries attended the three-day day conference that dealt with the following issues:
—The role of the diaspora legal community in assisting the legislative reforms of Armenia
—The legislative processes in Armenia (from the genesis of legislative ideas/initiatives to passing laws, enforcement/compliance to the passage of rules and regulations)
–Who are the key and peripheral stakeholders involved in legislative process (procedure of involvement)
— Outcome and impact of implemented legislative reforms since 2019 to increase the functional effectiveness of the state institutions including anti- corruption strategy from 2023 to 2026,
–The main directions and priority of upcoming institutional reforms of the judicial system (workload reduction, improving the functioning of the arbitration courts, filing a lawsuit,
–International best practices aimed at reducing the courts workload as well as improving the operations of arbitration courts.
–Key and most impactful opportunities for implementing reforms through continuous consultations and dialogue with the legal community of the diaspora and its feasibility.
–The Nagorno- Karabakh issue and post- war legal process.
–The present status and recommendation for more effective international legal processes aimed at restoring the rights of Armenians forcefully displaced as a result of the war.
–The present status and recommendation of a more effective international legal processes for the return of Armenian prisoners.
–The present status and recommendation of more effective international legal processes with regard to the responsibility for crimes committed by Azerbaijan during and after its large- scale aggression against Nagorno -Karabakh.
— What other measures to apply for counteracting Azerbaijan’s compensation claims against Armenia.
–The outcome of actions and data collected by the Office of the Republic of Armenia Human Rights Defender; what next steps to implement.
More active and impactful interaction with the legal community of the Diaspora in the context of defending the rights of NK and return of prisoners.
“Legal mechanisms for ensuring the security of Armenian people.”
–How to better activate international legal processes to counteract aggressive actions against Armenia,
— How to better counteract and neutralize Azerbaijan’s demands on Armenia (territorial claims, property claims as well as the right to resettle Azerbaijani refugees in Armenia)
–Implementing more effective mechanisms for providing international legal support to the Armenian population in armed conflict and humanitarian crisis situations
–Establishing permanent processes aimed at eliminating the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and preventing new crimes against the Armenian people.
“ Legal issues for supporting and defending the Armenian national interests globally”:
— How to improve the legal landscape (unified online platform, etc.) of Armenia to more effectively engage the Diaspora in doing businesses in Armenia (e.g. citizenship process, business operations.)
–Guidelines. Property ownership guidelines, banking guidelines and assistance, etc.)
— What are the ways in which Diaspora lawyers can assist the capacity building of the businesses and individuals in Armenia to scale their operations internationally and to export their products,
—Developing a methodology to facilitate two-way business and legal exchanges,
–What legal actions to take for endangered Armenian heritage worldwide
–What legal processes to establish for defending Armenian national interests in terms of business, culture, social and humanitarian issues in the international arena
–Establish processes and legal groups for cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora to protect the Armenian interests and heritage, engage
activity in programs dedicated to the protection of Armenian heritage and expanding Armenian presence (digital Julfa Network, ASOP, and other global programs.)
— Perspectives for creating a pan-Armenian network of Armenian lawyers
Workshop session I
Developing a roadmap for cooperation on legislative reforms
Workshop session II
Developing a roadmap for cooperation on security and emergency situations as well as defending the rights of the Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh)
Workshop session III
Developing a roadmap on supporting and defending the Armenian national interests globally
Workshop session IV
Develop a roadmap on perspectives of creating the pan-Armenian Lawyers Network.
- Reform of the justice system
- Reinforcement of democracy and rule of law,
- Increase the number of qualified and vetted judges and public
- Training of arbitrage judges
- Establish the right of return of forcefully displaced Armenians of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) to their homes if they so wish when their safety is guarantied subject to international control and monitoring
- Collect evidence and proof of crimes committed with emphasis on ethnic cleansing and murder
- Increase the number of associations of Armenian lawyers in the Diaspora (presently USA, France, Argentina, Germany, Netherlands, Russian Federation)
- Pursue the submission of cases in the International Court of Justice, the Human Rights Commission of the UN and the European Court of Justice
- Establish a digitalized network of Armenian lawyers facilitating cooperation and coordination avoiding the creation of a new formal organization.The final report will be released within the next few weeks.
Dr. Souren Seraydarian is an international lawyer, chairman of the National Congress of Western Armenians (NCWA), and he is a veteran UN diplomat. He served in several large scale peace keeping and peace building operations in Haiti, South Africa, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Liberia until end of 2004. He retired as Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. Thereafter as a UN consultant, he carried out missions in Sudan, Haiti and Norway.
Souren was born in Aleppo, Syria and is a French citizen living in Austria and France. He holds a PhD in International law from the University of Vienna and a diploma of the Diplomatic Academy. Post graduate courses include Human Resources Management at the Cranfield Institute of Technology in the UK and economic development at the College Economique et Sociale in Paris. He is a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur of France.