U.S., Armenia Launch Anti-Corruption Awareness Project
On July 12, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John A. Heffern and Armenia's Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgian officially launched a joint anti-corruption awareness project at Zvartnots International Airport.
The $77,000 project, funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, falls within the framework of the "Joint Action Plan Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on Combating Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials" that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed in 2008.
The project is designed to raise the anti-corruption awareness of Armenian and foreign citizens entering or exiting Armenia by explaining the procedures to be followed at border check points and customs houses. For this purpose, booklets, informational signs and posters, and public service announcements on television and radio were produced, with written materials being translated into English and Russian. The materials include up-to-date information on the rights of citizens accessing Armenia's borders and Customs points, as well as warnings against the unlawfulness of bribes by citizens and state officials. The materials contain a list of telephone hotlines that citizens can call to report problems encountered while accessing Armenia's borders or Customs houses.
The anti-corruption materials will be distributed and erected at all of Armenia's border crossing points, including Zvartnots and Shirak International Airports, the ports of entry in Bagratashen, Gogavan, Bavra, and Meghri, and the Customs houses in these locations, as well as the Customs house located at the rail port of Ayrum.
“One of the key achievements of the project implemented with UNDP/GEF support is the inclusion and support of extra-curricular environmental education as a strategic approach. This was a direct result of the series of roundtables jointly organized with EEN members and policymakers,” adds Sahakyan.