January 19, 2013 - 13:27 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian civil society representatives addressed a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, voicing deep concerns over the plan to move UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe to Istanbul, head of For Sustainable Human Development NGO and UNEP National Committee said.
As Karine Danielyan told a press conference, Armenia’s 15 NGOs joined the initiative, with the decision on the move taken once the information was released.
“Armenian Foreign Ministry has already issued an official statement; however, we found it appropriate to take relevant steps on the issue,” she said.
Ms Danielyan further noted that Armenia finds it inappropriate to move a regional center to a country that failed to recognize the Armenian Genocide and establish diplomatic relations both with RA and other states in the region.
“Moreover, Turkey is not an EU member. It is still guided by Article 301 of Constitution, which restricts freedom of speech, hampers the free development of national minorities, the latter, in turn, bringing about internal conflicts and deaths of prominent public figures (Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s murder),” she said.
“We hope that the UN will be committed to its principles and won’t prioritize the funding Turkey offers,” Ms Danielyan said, urging the international community to focus on the problem that may adversely affect the implementation of the programs of the UNDP Regional Center both on regional and country level.
According to her, Cyprus and Slovenia have already joined the call, with Russia also having expressed concerns over the plan.