The Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, meeting in Brussels on 17-18 October 2011, notes with concern the strong division that has developed between two groups involved in the activities of the EaP Civil Society Forum in Armenia.
The division is not a new development, but the Steering Committee had hoped that a solution could emerge locally. Considering the continuing impasse in attempts to reach a common agreement, and in order to help support the development of the civil society community in Armenia, the Steering Committee has decided the following:
- The Steering Committee recognises the full legitimacy of Mr. Avetik Ishkhanyan as the EaP CSF Country Facilitator elected by the Armenian participants of the Forum in Berlin in 2010 with a mandate that continues until the next EaP Civil Society Forum takes place in Poznan in November 2011;
- The Steering Committee has decided upon the suspension from now of all activities on behalf of the Armenian National Platform until the moment of its valid resumption.
- Resumption of the Armenian National Platform can be considered valid only if the resumption meeting is convened by actual Armenian EaP CSF Country Facilitator, and a quorum is met at that meeting (a quorum is met in the event that the meeting is attended by at least two-thirds of the organisations that participated in the EaP CSF assemblies in Brussels (2009) and Berlin (2010), and have been approved as participants in the forthcoming Civil Society Forum in Poznan (2011)). In the event that an organisation has been/is being represented in more than one of the three annual fora, that organisation is counted only once, and each organisation as set out above will be represented with only one vote at the meeting to re-establish the National Platform. Other organisations will not have voting rights at the meeting. (The names of the selected participating organisations at the three annual fora have already been made public by the Civil Society Forum Steering Committee.
- The resumption meeting should take place on a date approved by the Steering Committee, and with the attendance of at least two SC representatives, whose names will be determined by the Steering Committee. The SC representatives will attend the meeting to observe and guarantee the legitimacy of the meeting
- The resumed National Platform in Armenia shall identify its own new rules of procedure and decision-making. The Steering Committee representatives at the meeting will endeavour to confirm its validity, democratic and inclusive character and by that provide confirmation of the resumption of the EaP CSF National Platform in Armenia.
- The Steering Committee commits itself to work on a set of shared criteria for CSOs participating in the EaP Civil Society Forum, and a set of guidelines for the work of the national platforms, not only in Armenia, but in all EaP countries.
4th November 2011
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This statement of the EaF CSF Steering Committee is done without participation in the decision-making process of Armenian members of the SC to avoid conflict of interests.