The Forum has brought together over 200 mayors and councillors, representatives of the national government and parliament, as well as international agencies and experts, to build a dialogue on the new territorial structure taking shape in Armenia today and discuss issues related to decentralisation of powers and finances.
The forum was opened by Davit Lokyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia, Natalia Voutova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan and Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, who was on a three-day official visit to Armenia.
In his speech Minister Lokyan has emphasised that 'The local self-government system in Armenia is well established and has seen a steady development and transformation during the last 21 years. The LG system in Armenia shows sufficient elements of maturity for decentralising certain powers to communities. We will have in future a strong regional governance system, which will contribute to economic development of the communities and enlarge the financial resources of the communities'.
Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, President of the Congress, has congratulated the stakeholders of local democracy of Armenia on the occasion of the national day of local self-governance 'I can see that central and local governments in Armenia unite their efforts for strengthening local governance. We hope that this forum will contribute to that dialogue. Not all countries celebrate the local self-government day. By doing so, and by launching an open discussion on decentralisation, Armenia demonstrates its commitment to bringing democracy to its local communities'.
Armen Gevorgyan, Chief of staff of the administration of the President of Armenia, Taron Margaryan, mayor of Yerevan, marzpets and over 150 mayors attended the Forum.
To mark the national Local Self-Government Day and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Communities Association of Armenia the Forum was concluded by an award ceremony to announce the winners of the 'Best Community' competition. Minister Lokyan has awarded several mayors with certificates of gratitude. The Best Community award was given to the community of Artik, the Best cultural community award was shared between Gyumri and Byreghavan, the Progress of the Year award was shared by Ejmiatsin and Urtsadzor, the Clean community award was shared by Ashtarak and Tumanyan.
The forum was organised jointly by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development and the Communities Association of Armenia (CAA), under the auspices of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe with the financial support of the Government of Switzerland.