Head of Swedish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Co-Rapporteur on Armenia
To: Davit HARUTYUNYAN, Chairman of the Armenian delegation
Cc: Dick Marty, President of the Monitoring Committee
Mateo Sorinas, Secretary General of the PACE
Strasbourg, 6 October 2010
I find it extremely strange that a country claiming to be a democracy cannot find time on the margins of Council of Europe Forum for the Future of Democracy to arrange a few high-level meetings with the Monitoring committee’s co-rapporteurs. This seems to confirm my assumption that Armenia is not yet mature enough to host the Forum.
The visit of the co-rapporteurs was authorized by the Monitoring Committee on 22 June 2010 and has been postponed since: first because of the summer recess, then it was too early to have the visit in the first part of September. There appeared to be an agreement for the visit to take place on the sidelines of the Forum on 17 and 18 October, which however was declined by a letter from the Speaker of your Parliament.
To my knowledge, it is only during the period right after elections that monitoring visits are usually avoided in order to give new governments the chance to progress on their election promises. This is definitely not the case with Armenia.
I have a feeling that it is my person as such and my commitment to the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that makes the Armenian authorities try to postpone the visit of the co-rapporteurs, knowing that my imminent departure from the Assembly would open an opportunity to appoint a new - and less independent - rapporteur.
I have absolutely no personal prestige in this matter, but the act of seemingly obstructing the monitoring process is an insult to the Parliamentary Assembly as an institution and to the core values of the Council of Europe, which Armenia has voluntarily undertaken to defend. Part of this commitment is also doing everything possible to accommodate co-rapporteurs’ fact-finding visits to the country. It is the institution and not the monitors in person that matter.
I would therefore request you to reconsider my wish as co-rapporteur to meet with the relevant authorities on the day before or after the Forum.