NEWS // 
ICHD, the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen (Employers) of Armenia (UMBA) and the Global Compact Armenia office organized the first round table to initiate a policy dialog regarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a concept introduced in Armenia by the UN Global Compact. The event was supported by UNDP. This is the first event in the series which will address the adequate policies and practices of CSR in Armenia.

There were about 40 participants attending the round table, among whom high rank state officials, in particular the Deputies Ministers of Trade and Economic Development Artsvi Minasyan and Tigran DAvtyan, and UN officers: Kori Udovicki, the Director of UNDP RBEC, and Consuelo Vidal, the UN Regional Representative. The majority of the participants were the members of the Global Compact Armenia, such as HSBC Armenia Bank, Coca-Cola, Tufenkian Hospitality, Ashtarak Kat, etc. They discussed several questions, namely:

  1. What is Corporate Social Responsibility and where Armenia stands?
  2. Is CSR the only way to involve private sector in development issues?
  3. What is the government’s perspective on CSR?
  4. Is there a need to create a formal framework for government-business cooperation for advancing the CSR in Armenia?
  5. How can the public sector contribute/participate in CSR activities?

The results of the discussions were summarized in the subsequent policy brief, which can be founds here.
To encourage more open, complex and effective discussions on current policies in and around Armenia, ICHD has created an external blog at ICHD is an avid advocate of participatory democracy. Therefore, all those interested in contributing to policy discussions are welcome to join the blog. To make the communication rules and norms clear, please, review the ICHD Blogging Policy.
On February 23-24 two ICHD trainers, Dr. Ashot Khurshudyan and Dr. Suren Poghosyan, who are also OSI Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI) fellows, conducted a training course for 15 Armenian and Georgian participants in Yerevan. The two-day workshop, which was organized by CRRC-Armenia and OSI Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI), aimed at providing appropriate skills for writing effective policy papers to influence decision making. The working language of the workshop was English.

More information is available at the CCRC-Armenia website.
ICHD hosted the first meeting of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) National Expert Council. This is a new initiative launched within the framework of “Civil Society Participation in the European Neighborhood Policy – A Regional Approach to Conflict resolution”. The project which is being implemented by Crisis Management Initiative, aims at creating a regional partnership network of leading NGOs, think tanks from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova. National Expert Councils will work with their governments on issues regarding the ENP and peacebuilding approaches.

In Armenia the project is coordinated by ICHD and is supported by GMF and DFID. The Council members are representatives of active NGOs and the Head of the EU Department of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs Varduhi Khechoyan.

The first meeting was attended by two CMI representatives, Anji Herrberg, the CMI Rapid Response Director, and Alina Doroftei, Black Sea Project Manager. The participants focused on two major issues: conflict resolution and cross border cooperation within ENP framework. Ms Herrberg and Ms Doroftei presented the objectives of the initiative and the activities undertaken within the project in other countries, and the participants exchanged opinions regarding priorities on which the Council should focus. The Council will hold quarterly offline meetings, in and between continuing the communication and discussion online.
On January 31, 2007 ICHD Executive Director Tevan Poghosyan participated in a round table discussion on promoting dialogue and cooperation between Armenia and Turkey, organized by Eurasia Foundation in Ararat. The event provided a forum for the NGO representatives and local administration officials in Ararat region to discuss the Turkish-Armenian initiatives that had been launched before, as well as the present challenges and potential of opening the border between the two countries.

Mr. Poghosyan presented one of the latest publications of the Center - Armenian-Turkish Track 2 Diplomacy Projects: Assessment of the Best Practices - which nicely tuned with the theme of the round table and promoted a thought-provoking exchange of opinions. The participants noted that activities such as the above-mentioned project would definitely enhance the effectiveness of future initiatives.
The resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains on the agenda of Armenian foreign policy. It is being negotiated over high rank meetings and talked about during routine get-togethers. The reports from the negotiation rounds present the official positions, but what do common citizens think?

This was the question that promoted ICHD to hold Town Hall Meetings in February – March, 2006 in four towns of Armenia. The same question led them to Nagorno Karabakh in January, 2007.

From January 17 to 20 about 300 people in Stepanakert, Martuni and Martakert discussed the following possible scenarios of the conflict resolution: “Status Quo”, “Nagorno Karabakh: An Independent State”, “Nagorno Karabakh: Part of Armenia”, “The Issue of Status to be Discussed in Future: Nagorno Karabakh under International Surveillance” and “Procrastinated Resolution – Certain Warrants”. The discussions were emotionally charged, since the wounds of the war were still fresh. Still, people appreciated the opportunity to speak out and voice their attitudes and perspectives, which were summarized for the policy makers.
ICHD experts gave a presentation of the Center’s latest publications at Ani Plaza Hotel. The publications include the recent research studies, evaluations and collections of speeches at the conferences the Center had organized.

The event was attended by the representatives of various local and international organizations, media and higher educational institutions. All the publications are available online at the Center’s website and at libraries in Yerevan.
On July 28-30, 2006 ICHD, in cooperation with the NGO "European Integration" and the Armenian Center for Transatlantic Initiatives organised an international conference in Yerevan - European Integration: Ways and Means Towards Integrated and Peaceful Neighborhood. More than 70 diplomats, experts and political scientists from Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe attended the conference. The conference was sponsored by the European Commission’s Delegation to Armenia in cooperation with the OSCE Yerevan Office.
ICHD has launched its new website which has been upgraded in cooperation with ABIDEWEB, an IT company. From now on the website will be quite dynamic. It will be updated on a daily basis. This is already the 5th version of the Center's official website. We hope you like it. If you have any comments, please, e-mail us.

ICHD invited independent analysts, government officials, and representatives of interested international organizations to a successive off-the-record roundtable discussion on the topic “The institutional prerequisites for the on-going strengthening of Armenian Dram”. Based on the opinions expressed by the participants a new policy brief was developed - The Imperative of Having Equally “Strong” Institutions – which can be accessed at the link below.

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