Armenia Proposes Key Amendments to Medicine Law: Aiming for Enhanced Regulation and Import Processes

Feb 27 2024

In a significant move to overhaul the medical sector's regulatory framework, Armenia's Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan presented proposed amendments and additions to the country's 'On Medicine' law. The presentation, which took place in Yerevan on February 27, underscores a concerted effort to address critical issues related to medicine registration, clinical experiments, and the harmonization of import regulations that have emerged since the law's inception in 2016.

During the session, Minister Avanesyan outlined the primary challenges that have hindered the effective regulation of the medical sector. Among these, the ambiguity surrounding the organizations responsible for conducting examinations and professional observations stands out, leading to inefficiencies within the Armenian Health and Labor Inspection Body. The minister's critique extended to the current legislation's inability to provide clear definitions and authorizing norms, which are crucial for amending government decisions on matters such as parallel import permissions and import certification processes.

Feedback from importing companies played a pivotal role in shaping the legislative package, highlighting the necessity for reforms in the refusal system of permission for parallel imports. The proposed amendments aim not only to clarify the link to import certification processes but also to address broader aspects of the medical sector, including the regulation of clinical experiments, infrastructure for pathological anatomical dissections, import facilitation, and pricing policy. The comprehensive nature of the discussion, which also garnered the endorsement of the NA Standing Committee, reflects a broad consensus on the need for legislative improvements.

The proposed legislative package represents a critical step towards aligning Armenia's medical sector with international standards, ensuring a more effective and transparent regulatory environment. By addressing the identified shortcomings, the amendments hold the promise of significantly improving the medicine registration process, streamlining clinical experiments, and facilitating smoother import procedures. As these changes are debated and potentially implemented, the focus will undoubtedly remain on their impact on both the healthcare system and the broader public health landscape in Armenia.

For more information on the proposed amendments and the session in Yerevan, visit Armenpress and the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.

Baku continues to make territorial claims: Mirzoyan at the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament


YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS.  The security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.

According to the readout issued by the foreign ministry, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made a statement during the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament.

The statement reads as follows:

"It is a pleasure to address the Conference on Disarmament in our capacity as an observer state. We believe that the Conference on Disarmament serves as a crucial platform for dialogue and collaboration among nations, aiming to build trust and understanding in pursuit of common goals. Armenia, as an observer state, is eager to actively engage in the deliberations, discussions, and initiatives aimed at advancing disarmament efforts on a global scale.

We reaffirm our strong commitment to the universal implementation of the international obligations in the areas of arms control and non-proliferation and reiterate our steadfast support to the institutions that underpin it.

Armenia reiterates its firm support for the full, complete, and effective implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation (NPT). As a strong supporter of the non-proliferation policies, we reiterate our full compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements and additional protocol.

Furthermore, we consider the Comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT) to be an indispensable pillar and tool for the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and disarmament.

New international regulatory instruments or mechanisms for addressing 21st-century threats and challenges are crucial for preventing potential conflicts and saving lives in line with the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. In this regard, it is our strong conviction that our joint efforts should be directed not just at protecting and advancing what we have already achieved but at matching the rapid technological progress, especially in artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons systems or drone technologies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Armenia is well familiar with the devastating impact of conflict, having experienced the tragic consequences of wars in our recent history. This painful past motivates us to persistently advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, prevention of the use or threat of force, uncontrolled and mass acquisition of weaponry and disarmament.

The erosion of the arms control regimes does not happen in a vacuum. It is usually a consequence of years-long noncompliance to the main treaties and documents, as well as the negligence of such crucial principles of the UN Charter as the non-use of force or threat of use of force and the maintenance of international peace and security and good-neighborly relations. The international failures of identifying early warning signs of such violations usually evolve into bloody conflicts and hostilities.

It is in such an environment that Azerbaijan launched a violent war against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, infiltrated into Armenia’s sovereign territory and on 19 September last year conducted an ethnic cleansing of over 108.000 indigenous Armenian population from its ancestral homeland.

Overall, the security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.

Nevertheless, the Government of Armenia continues its genuine efforts to build peace and stability in our region as well as confidence and trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan. To that end we have proposed simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan interstate border, with further demilitarization of the bordering areas. Armenia also proposes to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus. Despite the fact that all these proposals have so far been ignored or rejected by Azerbaijan, we are determined to continue our efforts.

Dear Colleagues,

The arms control and non-proliferation architecture were established with the objective of ensuring safer and more secure life for all. It cannot be accomplished without joint efforts, compromise and political will.

We firmly believe that dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect are the cornerstones of effective disarmament efforts. Armenia stands ready to work collaboratively with member states, sharing experiences, expertise, and resources to address the complex challenges that are ahead of us. Through open communication and a commitment to finding common ground, we can pave a way for a more secure and safe world.

I thank you."

Armenian, French defense ministers discuss course of military-technical cooperation


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 23, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan and French Minister of Defense Sébastien Lecornu discussed the course of cooperation during their meeting in Yerevan on February 23.

The ministers reviewed the implemented work in the defense cooperation and lauded the course and results of cooperation, the defense ministry said in a readout.

A number of new directions of cooperation were outlined.

Papikyan and Lecornu highlighted the Armenian-French military-technical cooperation as part of the Armenian military reforms, and the efforts to place it on long-term institutional basis.

Issues of military education, combat training, various trainings, consultative and expert support were in the focus of the meeting.

The course of the military-technical cooperation and upcoming actions to ensure its continuity were discussed.

Views were exchanged around regional security issues.

The ministers underscored that the Armenian-French defense cooperation and joint efforts are exclusively aimed at establishing lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus, as well as the development of the defense capabilities of the Armenian military for strengthening Armenia’s interdependence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Meet IALA’s new advisory board members

The International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA) is pleased to introduce its new advisory board members: Shushan Avagyan, Susan Barba and Anahit Ghazaryan.

Shushan Avagyan (b. 1976) is the author of two experimental novels Girq-anvernagir (A Book, Untitled, 2006) and Zarubyani kanayq (2014), and co-author, with the Queering Yerevan Collective, of Queered: What’s to Be Done with X-Centric Art (2011). She has translated several classics of the early Soviet avant-garde into English, including A Hunt for OptimismThe Hamburg ScoreOn the Theory of Prose by Viktor Shklovsky (Dalkey Archive Press) and Art and Production by Boris Arvatov (Pluto Press). She revived Shushanik Kurghinian’s work by translating and publishing the bilingual edition I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian (AIWA Press). Her articles, translations and interviews have appeared in Contemporary Women’s WritingThe Review of Contemporary FictionAsymptoteInTranslationThe International Literary QuarterlyMusic and LiteratureLos Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere.

Avagyan grew up in Soviet Armenia and lived in Zambia and Ethiopia with her parents who taught there as part of the Soviet Teach Abroad Program. After graduating from Khachik Dashtents School in Yerevan, she went to study at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. She received her undergraduate degree in studio art with a focus on printmaking and book arts from Cedar Crest College, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in English studies from Illinois State University. She lives in Yerevan and teaches at the American University of Armenia, where she coordinates the Certificate in Translation program.

Susan Barba is the author of Fair Sun, winner of the Anahid Literary Award and the Minas & Kohar Tölölyan Prize, and geode, a finalist for the New England Book Awards and the Massachusetts Book Awards. She is a co-editor, with Victoria Rowe, of I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian, and the editor of American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide, which won the 2023 American Horticultural Society Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New York Review of BooksPoetry, The New Republic and elsewhere, and her poems have been translated into Armenian, German, Swedish and Romanian. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, and she has received fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo. She works as a senior editor for New York Review Books. Learn more by visiting

Anahit Ghazaryan is a writer, visual artist and researcher from Yerevan, Armenia. In the last several years, Ghazaryan has worked with text, audio and visual materials, including photography, and most recently with documentary theater play and film. Ghazaryan was the co-producer of the Akanjogh Podcast (2019-2021), the first podcast on feminism in Armenia. Additionally, Ghazaryan has co-authored two books. The first book, Border-play | The Armenian and the Armenian, is a discussion about the relationship between two language backgrounds, Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. Her second book Dark Matter: Notes on War came out in November 2022 and chronicles a painful, honest conversation between two friends, providing an unfiltered perspective on the personal impacts of war.

Ghazaryan has been researching the life and work of Maryam Shahinyan (1911-1996), the first woman professional studio photographer in the Republic of Turkey, for more than six years. In 2021, she curated an exhibition of Shahinyan’s original photos that she found and collected during her time in Istanbul at the 4Plus Documentary Photography Center in Yerevan. In 2022, she completed the production of “Foto Galatasaray,” a full-length documentary on Shahinyan’s life and work. The film is currently in post-production. In 2023, Ghazaryan, as a playwright, created a Documentary Performance titled “Planned Outage,” delving into the nostalgic childhood memories of those born after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Currently, she is working on a new documentary performance exploring dating culture in Armenia.

IALA supports and celebrates writers by fostering the development and distribution of Armenian literature in the English language. Founded in 2021, IALA develops emerging Armenian writers, supports established authors, promotes Armenian literature and fosters intercultural exchange. IALA’s annual programs include grants in translation and creative writing, a mentorship program for emerging writers and the Young Armenian Poets Awards, which lifts up the next generation of Armenian writers. You can learn more on

The International Armenian Literary Alliance is a nonprofit organization launched in 2021 that supports and celebrates writers by fostering the development and distribution of Armenian literature in the English language. A network of Armenian writers and their champions, IALA gives Armenian writers a voice in the literary world through creative, professional, and scholarly advocacy.

4 Armenian soldiers dead, 1 wounded in Azeri shooting

 12:34, 13 February 2024

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 13, ARMENPRESS. 4 Armenian soldiers were killed and another was wounded in the February 13 Azerbaijani gunfire attack at an Armenian position in Syunik province.

The 1 wounded soldier is currently in non-life-threatening condition, the defense ministry said. 

The Azeri forces opened fire at the Armenian post near Nerkin Hand in Syunik in the early morning of February 13.

Armenia Refugee Response: Education Cannot Wait Announces US$1 Million Grant to Support Early Childhood Education

Street Insider
Feb 16 2024

ECW First Emergency Response grant delivered by UNICEF will support the Government of Armenia's Refugee Response Plan and improve access to early learning services for refugee and host community children.

NEW YORKFeb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ – In response to the recent mass influx of refugees into Armenia, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today US$1 million in new grant funding to reach children who need support the most.

The 12-month grant will be delivered by UNICEF – in coordination with Armenia'sMinistry of Education, Science. Culture and Sports and the Education Sector Group – and will expand access to early learning for refugee and host community children.

"This is the first time Education Cannot Wait has provided a grant dedicated exclusively to early childhood education. By working together with the Government of ArmeniaUNICEF and other local partners, this is our investment in a better future for the girls and boys of Armenia. With access to early childhood education, these children will gain the knowledge and skills they need to build a future of peace and prosperity," said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, the Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises.

Since September 2023, more than 100,000 refugees – including 30,000 girls and boys – have fled to Armenia following military hostilities in their home communities. Around 3,000 are children with disabilities and 9,000 are children under the age of six.

Access to early-childhood education has been identified as a critical need under the Refugee Response Plan jointly coordinated by the Government and the UN, noting that the education system in Armenia has been overstretched and under resourced to cope with the number of young refugee children.

"Missing out on quality early childhood education is detrimental to children's development and future learning ability. This is especially true in times of displacement and uncertainty, as children are more likely to struggle with cognitive, behavioral and emotional difficulties, especially at a young age, which further delays their development," said Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. "With the backing of ECW, UNICEF will support young refugee children and their parents with early learning and development services, which are critical to help them recover and thrive."

ECW's new US$1 million First Emergency Response allocation will focus on increasing access to inclusive early learning services by expanding spaces in public kindergartens. Refugee and host community girls and boys, including children with disabilities, will also have access to psychosocial support, parental education sessions will be provided to improve positive interactions between caregivers and children, and teachers will receive much-needed assistance to help integrate and support these children in their classrooms.

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming. ECW works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses. ECW urgently appeals to public and private sector donors for expanded support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth.

On X (formerly Twitter), please follow: @EduCannotWait, @YasmineSherif1, @KentPage
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SOURCE Education Cannot Wait

After Aliyev’s Latest Threats, Yerevan Accuses Baku of Derailing Peace Process

During his inauguration on Feb. 14, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan again made threats against Armenia

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s office on Wednesday accused Baku of deliberately derailing the peace process and “deepening enmity in the region,” after President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan added to the chorus of threats against Armenia from his government officials.

During his inauguration address on Wednesday Aliyev said that there will be no peace treaty if Armenia does not change its laws, ramping up his recent demands for Armenia to change its Constitution because it makes references to Artsakh.

“If territorial claims [by Armenia] against us are not abandoned, if Armenia does not bring its laws into order, of course, there will be no peace treaty,” Aliyev said after he was sworn in as president, a position he has held since 2003.

The Azerbaijani leader made the threat against Armenia a day after his country’s forces attacked the Nerkin Hand region of the Syunik Province killing four soldiers and injuring another.

“Armenia seems to have forgotten the results of the Second Karabakh War [in 2020],” Aliyev continued.

“We have no claim to the territory of Armenia, but they should also give up their claims. Speaking with us in the language of groundless claims and blackmail will cost them dearly, and probably everyone can see that,” Aliyev threatened.

According to Azerbaijan’s legislation, as well as Aliyev’s own assertions, the entire territory of Armenia is “historical Azerbaijani lands.”

Pashinyan’s press secretary Nazeli Baghdasaryan accused Azerbaijan of continuing to spread enmity and hatred in the region, which, she said threatened the stability.

“The laws of the Republic of Armenia are an internal matter of the Republic of Armenia, and no external force has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of our country,” Baghdasaryan said.

“As for territorial claims, Armenia is committed to the agreements reached with Azerbaijan on international platforms to recognize each other’s territorial integrity on the basis of the Alma-Ata Declaration, to conduct the demarcation and delimitation of the borders between the two countries based on the Alma-Ata Declaration, to open the regional communications on the basis of the sovereignty, jurisdiction, the principles of equality and reciprocity,” added Baghdasaryan.

Just last week, Pashinyan pushed forward with his agenda to change Armenia’s Constitution, saying that it would be impossible to achieve peace in the region if Armenia remained guided by its Declaration of Independence, which calls for the reunification of Armenia and Artsakh.

“Azerbaijan regularly violates these agreements by persisting in aggressive rhetoric, using force and the threat of force, that contradict the written agreements reached at international platforms. Additionally, Azerbaijan continues to occupy 31 vital territories belonging to the Republic of Armenia. All this shows that Azerbaijan continues the strategy of deepening enmity in the region, which is a continuous threat of destabilization,” Baghdasaryan, Pashinyan’s spokesperson, added.

“Armenia will continue its efforts to establish peace and again offers Azerbaijan the withdrawal of troops, based on the 1991 border line, which will be a cornerstone step for stability and mutual trust in the region. As for the peace treaty, there is an already agreed-upon point in the draft being negotiated between Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to which the parties cannot refer to their legislation to refuse to fulfill any provision of the peace treaty,” said Baghdasaryan.

“We repeat: Armenia and Azerbaijan have already reached an agreement on this point, and the statements from official Baku contradict this agreement as well,” the prime minister’s spokesperson declared.

Zakharova addresses Armenia’s proposal for a non-aggression pact with Azerbaijan


YEREVAN, JANUARY 31, ARMENPRESS. The best guarantee of stability and long-term peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the implementation of high-level tripartite agreements signed in 2020-2022, the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova said, referring to the proposal made by Armenia to Azerbaijan regarding the signing of the non-aggression pact.

 “If you are talking about our principled position, then we are sure that the guarantee of reaching stability and long-term peace in the South Caucasus is the speedy restoration of the implementation of high-level tripartite agreements signed in 2020-2022,” said Zakharova, noting that it is a roadmap with no alternative for the reconciliation of Baku and Yerevan, which also includes the development of a peace treaty.

Armenian Ambassador meets with Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece


YEREVAN, JANUARY 25, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Greece Tigran Mkrtchyan on Thursday  met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy  Kostas Fragogiannis.
The Armenian Ambassador presented the latest regional developments, the current state of the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiation process. The Ambassador also addressed the issue of unblocking regional communications based on the principle of reciprocity and equal jurisdiction, the Armenian Embassy in Greece said on social media.
According to the source, the interlocutors discussed the possibility of hosting the session of the intergovernmental commission on economic, industrial and scientific-technical cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Greece in Yerevan in the near future.
Both sides emphasized the importance of giving a new  impetus to Armenian-Greek economic relations as an important basis of traditional friendly bilateral relations. During the meeting, there was also a focus on intensifying relations among business circles.

Healthcare Minister Anahit Avanesyan questioned in COVID-19 response probe


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 12, ARMENPRESS. Healthcare Minister Anahit Avanesyan has said she’s been questioned by law enforcement agencies in the case on alleged abuses and embezzlement committed during the COVID-19 response.

Avanesyan served as Deputy Minister of Healthcare during 2018-2021 under then-Minister Arsen Torosyan.

“I’ve been summoned to questioning. I was questioned either in late November or in December of 2023,” Avanesyan told reporters. She did not elaborate. 

Multiple arrests have been made so far in the criminal investigation into alleged abuse and embezzlement during the COVID-19 response.