In the aftermath of Armenia’s ‘Velvet Revolution’, the event will bring together civil society representatives and activists with policymakers and interested stakeholders to address issues around the role of civil society and civic activism in underpinning the reform processes and democratic developments in Armenia.
Speakers will discuss progress achieved so far in electoral and judicial reforms and in the media environment - key sectors for ensuring the sustainability of the revolution. How to keep citizens engaged? What role now for civil society in these new circumstances where the lines between the sector and the government have become permeable? Join us to debate these timely questions and other issues.
Sona Ghazaryan, a young civic activist based in Yerevan, is a co-founder of two initiatives։ “NoPasaran”, ahead of the 2015 Constitutional Referendum, and “RejectSerzh”, one of the key organising groups during Armenia’s Velvet Revolution. During the Armenian parliamentary elections of 2017, Sona assisted OSCE/ODIHRin media monitoring and analysis. Soon after, Sona joined theUnion of Informed Citizens as a media monitor and media expert. Since January 2018, she has been working as communications manager for urbanlab, a socio-cultural foundation.Sona holds a bachelor’sdegree in Linguistics and Intercultural Communications, with a major in British Studies. In 2015, she obtained a master’s in European Inter-disciplinary Studies from the College of Europe.
Boris Navasardian has been president of the Yerevan Press Club, the first independent association of journalists in Armenia, since its foundation in 1995. With a career in journalism dating back to 1979, Boris has worked for numerous newspapers and lectured at Armenian universities.From 2002 to 2006, he chaired the Board of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation in Armenia. Boris has participated in numerous expert groups of the Council of Europe and sits on the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. He has authored numerous articles and TV programmes, managed dozens of projects on media, civil society development and conflict resolution, and published over 50 books on journalism and democracy promotion.
President of Protection of Rights without Borders NGO since 2013, Haykuhi Harutyunyan is a practising human rights lawyer and a member of Armenia’s Chamber of Advocates. In this capacity, she handles strategic litigation in torture cases, and responds to fair trial issues. Earlier in her career, Haykuhi worked for the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor, where she managed projects aimed at improving the human rights situation in Armenia. In 2011, she received a Hubert Humphrey Fellowship and studied in the Minnesota Law School, graduating with a master’s degree in human rights, rule of law and leadership. During Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, Protection of Rights Without Borders played a key role by coordinating pro-bono legal assistance to protestors whose rights were violated.
Moderated by Peter Sondergaard, Director of Programmes, European Endowment for Democracy.
The event is co-organised in cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.Event Report