On January 22, 2001 at the Journalists Union of Armenia the press conference of Andrea Paolo Trabalza, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Italy in RA , was held – the first one since the opening of the Italian diplomatic mission in Armenia. The meeting was organized by Yerevan Press Club and was mainly devoted to the activities of the Council of Europe in the period of Italy’s chairmanship (May-November, 2000).
During this period the principal decision on the membership of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe was made. “For your country it is a beginning of a long way”, said Mr. Trabalza, pointing out the mutually beneficial advantages of the membership for both Armenia and the integrating Europe.
The Ambassador of Italy asked the journalists present at the meeting to be attentive when mentioning the Council of Europe. According to Mr. Trabalza, the most common mistake of Armenian journalists lies in the fact that sometimes very different structures of the Council of Europe and the European Council are denoted in the press as one and the same organization. Yet, as Mr. Ambassador pointed out, this confusion is also present in the media of Italy, France…
As to the requirements of the Council of Europe to its new members, according to the documents signed, Armenia, among other terms, necessary for the development of democracy, human rights protection and, in particular, the freedom of media, has taken the obligation:
– to adopt a new media law within a year after the adhesion to the Council of Europe;
– to reform the national TV channel into a public one, which will be governed by an independent public council.
As to the freedom of associations/NGOs, Armenia assumes the following obligations:
– to adopt a new law on NGOs within a year after the adhesion to the Council of Europe;
– to fully cooperate with NGOs so that the rights of prisoners as well as those of military service draftees are respected.