TBILISI: Georgian-Turkish railway link would benefit the entire regi

Georgian-Turkish railway link would benefit the entire region – president

Imedi TV, Tbilisi
21 May 04

[Presenter] Before leaving for Istanbul, Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili held a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah
Gul in Ankara today.

The parties discussed common interests in the region and long-term
prospects, including the [proposed] construction of Kars-Batumi
railway line which caused some irritation on the of Armenia. The
president commented today on Yerevan’s reaction to the proposed
construction. Saakashvili said that, if the Georgian railways are
linked to the Turkish railways, this will benefit both Georgia,
Turkey and Armenia.

[Salome Zourabichvili, Georgian Foreign Minister, interviewed] There
was a very interesting exchange of our views that our policies in
this region are basically the same. We also share the same aspiration
towards Europe, the same desire to have normal and constructive
relations with Russia, and the same partnership with America.

[Saakashvili, interviewed] When we are talking about railways, first
of all, I care about the interests of Georgia. Georgia should extend
the railway line and link it with the Turkish railway system. If
the Turkish railway system is linked to Georgia, this will benefit
Azerbaijan, Armenia, Central Asia, and absolutely everyone. This is
certainly in the interests of the entire region. This is one thing.

Second, we should manage to turn [the Ajarian capital] Batumi airport
into an international airport like Geneva airport. This would enable
Batumi airport to provide services to passengers from the border
areas of Turkey. An international-level terminal should be created
there. There were similar plans in the past, and we should be able
to reconstruct these plans.
From: Baghdasarian

Russian defence minister envisages no expansion of CIS security org.

Russian defence minister envisages no expansion of CIS security organization

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow
21 May 04

Yerevan, 21 May: It is not planned to accept new members to the
Collective Security Treaty Organization comprising Armenia, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan . This was announced
today by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov after the session of
the CIS Council of Defence Ministers.

“There are no such plans,” the Russian defence minister stressed. “At
present there are no applications from new members to join the
Collective Security Treaty Organization,” he concluded. In this
connection Ivanov recalled that the permanent staff of this
organization had been set up and was functioning in Moscow.

In addition to this, the Russian minister announced that following a
decision by the Council of Defence Ministers, the term in office of
the chief of the staff coordinating military cooperation of the CIS
states, Army Gen Vladimir Yakovlev, had been extended.

U.S., NATO aim to calm Caucasus turbulence

U.S., NATO aim to calm Caucasus turbulence
BY Brian Whitmore, Boston Globe

Star Tribune
Last update: May 20, 2004 at 4:55 PM

May 21, 2004CAUCASUS0521

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY — U.S. Army Col. Michael Anderson has
Georgia on his mind. He spends a lot of time thinking about Armenia
and Azerbaijan, as well.

Plagued by ethnic conflicts, political instability, organized crime,
and porous borders, the volatile South Caucasus region has long been
viewed by Western officials as a hotbed of chaos and of instability
in Europe’s backyard.

The U.S. military and key NATO allies are now laying the groundwork for
an unprecedented engagement in the region that will include coordinated
military and humanitarian assistance, education, and training aimed
at eventually bringing these troubled nations and their armed forces
into Europe’s mainstream.

“We want these nations to ultimately be able to stand on their own and
to be secure and stable states,” said Anderson, the U.S. military’s
European Command point man for policy in the Caucasus.

The emerging initiative in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is part of a
focus on what military commanders call “an arc of instability” ranging
from the Caucasus through the Middle East to the Gulf of Guinea in
West Africa. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. armed forces
worldwide have been taking steps to redirect their resources to fight
the war on terrorism more effectively.

Officials at the U.S. European Command say that because they do not
anticipate a major war in their area of responsibility in the near
future, they are focusing on preventing conflicts on and beyond the
continent’s hinterlands before they become full-blown security crises.

In the South Caucasus, and in North Africa, U.S. military officials
say they are seeking to use “the prudent application of soft power”
— gaining access and influence in these regions by exposing nations
there to Western thinking and values — to advance the interests of
the United States and its allies.

“We are applying a regional, cooperative approach … helping nations
help themselves,” Air Force Gen. Charles Wald, deputy commander of
U.S. forces in Europe, said in a statement.

At a two-day conference this month at the George C. Marshall European
Center for Security Studies in this southern German Alpine town,
U.S. defense officials met with their counterparts from key NATO
allies to coordinate their efforts to assist a defense overhaul in the
region. Officials from Georgia and Armenia also attended. Officials
from Azerbaijan were invited but did not attend amid the continuing
animosity with Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabach.

By helping stabilize the South Caucasus and assisting in improvements
in the region’s armed forces, officials say, the initiative contributes
to the war against terrorism.

“Terrorists are looking for areas of instability where they can play
the East-West cultural card, and the Caucasus is a region that is ripe
for that,” a senior British defense official said on the condition
of anonymity. “If we don’t turn our attention to it, they will.”

The new emphasis on the Caucasus seeks to build on recent
U.S. initiatives in the region. From May 2002 until last month,
U.S. soldiers trained four Georgian light-infantry battalions and a
tank company under a $64 million program called the Georgia Train and
Equip Program. The program aimed to professionalize Georgia’s armed
forces and to equip them to root out suspected terrorists linked
to Al-Qaida in the country, most notably the Pankisi Gorge region
near Chechnya.

U.S. military officials have since identified illicit weapons,
narcotics, and human-trafficking across the region’s porous frontiers
as other key security concerns. Easy access to smuggling routes
empowers organized crime groups, compromises the authority of central
governments and destabilizes the region, the officials say.

Protecting the flow of oil out of the region is also a top security
concern for the United States and its allies. A major pipeline running
from Baku, Azerbaijan, through Tblisi, Georgia, to Ceyhan, Turkey,
is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Analysts say
the pipeline will reduce the West’s energy dependence on the Middle
East and the Persian Gulf but could also become a potential target
for terrorists.

Longtime NATO allies like Britain, Germany, and Turkey — as well as
new alliance members Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — are contributing
with assistance programs in the region.

The former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which
have reformed their militaries sufficiently to join NATO this year, say
they are now prepared to help Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan do the
same. The Baltic nations are also offering to help train border guards.

Nikoloz Laliashvili, head of defense policy and NATO integration for
Georgia’s Defense Ministry, said it is his country’s “aspiration”
to follow in the footsteps of the three Baltic countries.

U.S. and other Western officials concede privately that Georgia,
Armenia, and Azerbaijan have made uneven progress. Georgia, which
tossed out its Soviet-era leaders in favor of the pro-Western
government of Mikhail Saakashvili in a peaceful revolution in
November, has shown the most serious commitment to an overhaul,
the officials say.

Earlier this month, Georgia peacefully seized control of the rebel
province of Ajaria, in the country’s southwest corner, although
Saakashvili is still struggling to bring other breakaway regions like
Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Tblisi’s control.

Spain coach Saez opts for a defensive Euro 2004 squad

Spain coach Saez opts for a defensive Euro 2004 squad

The Star
Friday May 21, 2004

MADRID: Spain coach Inaki Saez opted for a conservative Euro 2004 squad,
naming eight defenders and leaving out Arsenal striker Jose Antonio Reyes
yesterday.

Experienced players from Real Madrid and champions Valencia made up the
backbone of the 23-man squad which will play hosts Portugal, Greece and
Russia in Group A.

The coach said 20-year-old Reyes, who has won four caps and scored two goals
for Spain in the Euro qualifier against Armenia in October, had not yet
reached maturity.

“Reyes is a man of the future for the national side,” Saez said.

As well as Reyes, Saez left out Valencia attacker Mista, the highest-scoring
Spaniard in this year’s Primera Liga with 19 goals. Mista’s stunning form
helped his side seal a league and UEFA Cup double this season.

“My experience of international tournaments is that central defenders always
receive the most punishment, and in the final – which is what we aim to
reach – you are always short of defenders,” Saez said.

“So I have put another man in at the back.”

Saez named Raul despite the Spanish captain’s poor season with Real Madrid.
Fellow striker Fernando Morientes of Monaco also won a place after a
brilliant Champions League campaign.

Saez opted for versatile Barcelona defender Gabri to plug any holes in the
Spanish defence, saying he was familiar with the player from coaching the
Spanish youth team who won the 1999 World Cup in Nigeria.

Defensive stalwarts Ivan Helguera and Michel Salgado of Real Madrid, and
Carles Puyol of Barcelona are included and Betis’ Juanito won a place
despite his side’s indifferent league form.

Spain, who have not lost in nine internationals, will rely on first choice
goalkeeper Iker Casillas of Real Madrid.

Athletic Bilbao’s 24-year-old goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia was named in the
squad for the first time.

THE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Santiago Canizares (Valencia),
Daniel Aranzubia (Athletic Bilbao).

Defenders: Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Ivan Helguera (Real Madrid), Carlos
Marchena (Valencia), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid), Gabri (Barcelona), Raul
Bravo (Real Madrid), Cesar (Deportivo Coruna), Juanito (Betis).

Midfielders: Juan Carlos Valeron (Deportivo Coruna), Xabi Alonso (Real
Sociedad), Ruben Baraja (Valencia), Vicente (Valencia), David Albelda
(Valencia), Joaquin (Real Betis), Xavi (Barcelona).

Forwards: Raul (Real Madrid), Albert Luque (Deportivo Coruna), Fernando
Torres (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Morientes (Monaco), Joseba Etxeberria
(Athletic Bilbao). – Reuters

Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund Convenes its Annual Summit

“Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund Convenes its Annual Summit

FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE
May 21, 2004

CONTACT: Sarkis Kotanjian
Phone: (818) 243-6222
Fax: (818) 243-7222
E-mail: [email protected]

Glendale, CA – The Board of Trustees of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund
held its annual general meeting in Yerevan on May 6, 2004. The meeting
was part of a week-long summit (May 4th-May 11th) which brought together
representatives of the Fund’s eighteen overseas affiliates from Canada,
South America, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
President of the Republic of Armenia and Chairman of the Board of
Trustees of “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund, H.E. Robert Kocharian, and the
President of Nagorno Karabakh Republic H.E. Arkady Ghoukasian
participated in the sessions and activities. The key objective of the
summit was to assess the Fund’s current programs and to chart out the
5-year and 10-year plans to enhance the Fund’s activities.

Armenia Fund, Inc. (AFI), the Fund’s affiliate in the Western United
States, was represented by its Chairperson, Maria Mehranian and
Vice-Chairman Ara Aghishian, Esq. In her report, Mehranian discussed
the challenges facing AFI and outlined the organization’s development
strategy for the upcoming five years. She said that while the Western
U.S. has a sizable active Armenian population, it also has the
responsibility to create and maintain a complex network of its own
cultural, educational, religious and administrative institutions that
cater to its local communities. Recognizing this reality, she stressed
that the Fund’s key messages should emphasize the inseparable link
between Armenia and the Diaspora. The diversity of the Armenian
communities in the Western U.S. necessitates a strong public outreach
program that establishes and maintains the credibility of the Fund,
while staying connected to its constituency.

“AFI does not view these challenges as obstacles rather as factors
that offer unique opportunities that can enhance our activities”, said
Mehranian. For example, the expansive geographic area and the diverse
population in the Western region are powerful sources of assets and
capabilities for specialized assistance to the Fund’s programmatic and
targeted projects. At the same time, the large number of single and
multi-purpose organizations in the region offer opportunities for
strategic partnerships to sponsor specific projects.

Presenting AFI’s strategic development plan for the upcoming five years,
Mehranian stated that the organization’s Board of Directors will
concentrate its efforts on achieving several important goals: expand and
diversify the donor base by developing a multi-level fundraising
strategy, educate the public about Armenia’s critical needs and the
range of the Fund’s projects that target those needs, and establish
strategic partnerships to implement joint projects with other Armenian
organizations currently involved in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. She
emphasized that these goals can only be achieved by maintaining
political independence and neutrality, adhering to strict accountability
and financial transparency, and by professional management of
fundraising and fund allocation at the executive level.

During an interview with Ara Aghishian, Esq., Vice-Chairman of AFI,
Inc., upon his return from the Summit, he stated that “I was very
pleased with the rate of progress our projects in general are being
implemented in Armenia. I was there at the last Summit in September of
2003, and observed a tremendous amount of improvement the Fund has done
from September 2003 to May of 2004. I am certain that the leadership
will continue this important task with the same vigor and dedication.”

Armenia Fund, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation, is
the West Coast affiliate of the “Hayastan” All-Armenian Fund
headquartered in Yerevan, Armenia. Since 1994, AFI has generated over
$20 million for various large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure
development projects in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

NATO is preparing for major war

NATO is preparing for major war

Pravda Ru
05/21/2004 17:03

Vice-president of Academy of geopolitical problems, colonel- general
Leonid Ivashov says on NATO approaching Russian borders in Utro
interview. Utro NATO approached Russian borders, but young generations
of Russians doubt if this is a threat to Russia, recent public opinion
surveys demonstrated. Where do you see the threat to Russian security?

Leonid Ivashov As for young people”s opinion, I am teaching at Moscow
State Institute of International Relations and know that students
are given too contradictory and scarce information. Professors have
shortage of textbooks interpreting different doctrines, opinions
and approaches. Young people are confused, they are disoriented and
cannot see the long-term threat. Yes, NATO troops do not shoot and
bomb Russia today, and this creates the impression that the threat
is not real.

One more thing: mass media, especially TV channels, do not create the
“image of the enemy”, and young people do not read newspapers. For
these reasons, it is hard for young people to determine their position
on NATO.

In addition, Western values are being planted in Russia, while its own
historical and cultural roots are coming into oblivion. Currently our
young people see Chechen terrorists are much bigger threat than NATO.

Utro This is all mass media”s fault…

Leonid Ivashov Mass media are a tool not only for expansion in
peaceful period, but also for war. For example, mass media created
demonic image of Slobodan Milosevic and Serbs in Europe and in
America. As a result, the public did not protest when the aggression
against Yugoslavia started in violation of international law. Then the
principle of creating the image of demon was applied to Iraq. This
is informational warfare, and its weapons are so powerful that any
democratic leader loved by his people can be made a monster and demon
in 2-3 weeks.

Let us ask a question – for what reasons is NATO moving Eastward? NATO
is a military machine increasing its potential, having many thousands
of tanks and cannons, more than 5,000 military aircrafts, nuclear
weapons. This machine is near our borders. A question to young people:
why is NATO approaching Russia? For what reasons are the six aerodromes
in the Baltic states being modernized for NATO”s strategic aviation
landing (including aircrafts carrying nuclear weapons)?

Utro Using the military language – for possible military actions in
Eastern regions…

Leonid Ivashov Certainly, and international terrorism is a good excuse
for this. Earlier Communism was this excuse. Why can”t Americans
find bin Laden? He is very convenient for them. Taliban has been
defeated, and if al-Qaida is defeated, there will be no source of
terrorism. Americans need this source.

40 countries are the members of the Council for European Partnership
which is affiliated to NATO. Several years ago one of the NATO generals
was speaking at the Council about the threat for NATO and Europe. The
general named spreading weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking,
illegal migration and terrorism as the threats, and said that NATO will
concentrate on eradicating them. At that point, I asked a question,
“Could you tell how mechanized division, Air Force and Navy will
fight against spreading nuclear weapons, drug trafficking and illegal
migrants. Could you share your experience of this?” They were confused,
because no military organization will deal with these issues. I asked
again, “70% of all NATO exercises are about starting a big war,
winning domination in air, conducting defense operations and then
attacking. Does your statement mean that you will turn to peace-keeping
operations and fighting drug trafficking now?” No reply again.

We received NATO”s invitation for some of its military exercises, such
as Balttops or the maneuvers in Poland. But all exercises always have
two stages. First – when Navy is capturing terrorists” submarine. By
the way, how can a sub with terrorists appear in the Baltic Sea? After
capturing the sub, the commanders drink Champaign and say good-bye
to the guests. Then the second, real stage of exercises starts –
landing on the seashore with aviation support and destroying enemy”s
objects, taking over settlements, destroying enemy”s aviation. All
this is aimed against Russian Baltic Fleet.

We can also see NATO working on the strategic purpose of controlling
Russian Northern Fleet. Russia has the most powerful Navy carrying
nuclear weapons, in the North. NATO set many radar stations in
Norwegian Spitsbergen islands and in the Baltic States. There is
an idea that at the last exercise of Russian Northern Fleet, Russian
missiles could not be launched because of some electronic interference.

The reaction of Russia is mainly about soothing itself. I believe
that somebody should be prosecuted for undermining our military.

Utro Can you say that so-called “NATO belt” is created around Russia
of the Baltic States, Central Asia and the Caucasus region?

Leonid Ivashov Yes, just draw the line connecting these regions. The
only protuberance there is Belarus. Ukraine has already given its
territory for NATO troops deploying. Georgia allowed NATO to use its
territory and air space.

We saw Chechen terrorists creating their bases, training camps and even
command posts in Georgia. In fact, Georgia is involved in anti-Russian
campaign. Chechen terrorists are not just bandits already, they are
well-organized anti-Russian special force having strategic goals and
using the territory of Georgia.

Americans are analyzing the option of establishing their tactical
military bases and posts in the Caucasus region, in Georgia, Azerbaijan
and later in Armenia. They are unable to have big bases there as
they need many troops in Iraq, but will bring equipment and groups
of specialists to prepare the conditions for quick deploying their
troops in the area.

Utro Media wrote about the CIA report predicting Russia”s
disintegrating into 6-8 states by 2015. Your comments?

Leonid Ivashov I believe that Russia is moving on the way of degrading,
disintegrating and destroying as a state. In this respect, the
long-term strategy has been applied to Russia for decades. Russia is
going to be isolated along its borders, then Northern Caucasus region
will be taken from it. Formally, Russia will own it, but all over the
region Chechnya-like instability will take place. Kaliningrad region
and the Far East will have the same scenario. Powerful strategy
is applied to Russia, and Russian leadership and political elite do
not respond.

What was Defense Minister Ivanov doing in Georgia during the recent
conflict in Adzharia autonomous republic? Was he pursuing Russia”s
interests? Certainly, the war in the area is not in Russia”s best
interests, but negotians should have been arranged for settling the
contradictions between the leaders of Georgia and Adzharia autonomous
republic. Americans are backing Georgian leader Saakashvili, and we
should have backe Adzharian leader Abashidze as Moscow mayor Yury
Luzhkov did some time ago. Earlier, Mr. Luzhkov came to Batumi and
made equal balance of power. Defense Minister Ivanov just overthrew
the elected head of Adzharia, and in this way he pursued the interests
of Americans.

As for American military bases in Central Asia, neither Russia nor
Iran nor China benefit from them. We invited Americans there and
persuaded the Heads of Central Asian countries to allow US troops
to be deployed there temporary. Even in the case of NATO expansion,
we are not protesting, but misleading our own people by saying that
there is no threat. Lately the agreement has been reached that NATO
forces will be deployed in Russia. What next?

Yury Kotenok

Series Of Lectures And Events Within The Western Diocese

PRESS OFFICE
ARMENAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA WESTERN DIOCESE
3325 North Glenoaks blvd.
Burbank, CA 91504
Tel: (818) 558-7474
Fax: (818) 558-6333
E-mail: [email protected]
Website:

May 21, 2004

COMMUNIQUE

SERIES OF LECTURES AND EVENTS
WITHIN THE WESTERN DIOCESE

Upon the decision and special arrangements of His Eminence
Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the
Armenian Church of North America, the following events and series of
lectures will take place in the Western Diocesan Headquarters, as part
of the “Tarkmanchats Lsaran”:

A) Beginning in September 2004, a two year curriculum has
been organized for candidates into the Order of Priesthood, that
includes the following subjects relating to the Armenian Church and the
Armenian Religious culture:

Biblical Studies
History of the Armenian Church
Pastoral Theology
Armenian Liturgy and its Theology
Sermon and Preaching
Universal Church Fathers
Armenian Religious Literature
Monasticism and Christian Spirituality
History of Armenian Monasticism
Armenian Monastic Spirituality
History of Armenian Religious Art
Armenian Historiography and
Ideology of Armenian Identity
Classical Armenian or Grabar

B) On October 20, 21, 22, 2004, a three-day Conference will be
held, strictly for the clergy of the Western Diocese. Deacons will also
be present. Over the course of the three days prayers will take place,
as well as four lectures per day (a total of 12 lectures), which will
cover theological, ecclesiastical, spiritual, pastoral, executive,
ethical, social, instructional and various other religious topics.

C) Beginning in October 2004, another series of lectures will begin
in the evenings, which will be open to the public. These lectures will
take place ONCE A MONTH and will include a series of presentations
dedicated to the Bible, as well as topics relating to religion,
ecclesiastics, history of the church, ethics and the Armenian religious
culture,

D) In October, 2004 on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of
the CREATION OF THE ARMENIAN ALPHABET, a three-day event will be held at
the Diocesan Headquarters, titled “THE ARMENIAN BOOK” which will
underscore the importance and significance of the Armenian Book in our
personal and ethnic lives. At the same time a book sale will take place.
This event will be open to the public.

Very Rev. Dajad Dz. Vartabed Yardemian is in charge of the
abovementioned events.

The exact dates will be published in due time.

DIVAN OF THE DIOCESE

May 19, 2004
Burbank, California

www.armenianchurchwd.com

Watertown Tab: St. Stephen’s fifth-graders visit Armenia

Pilgrimage to the ‘homeland’
By Monica Deady / Staff Writer

regional/wtp_covwparmeniams05212004.htm
Friday, May 21, 2004

St. Stephen’s fifth-graders visit Armenia

Principal Houry Boyamian hugged each child goodbye as they passed
through the doors of their school and boarded the waiting bus. After
a bus ride, two flights and several hours in limbo, the students will
arrive in Armenia, their “homeland.”

Twelve fifth-graders at St. Stephen’s Elementary School in Watertown,
along with their families, left for a 10-day trip to Armenia Tuesday,
marking the first time the school is sending students to visit the
country; it’s also the 20th anniversary of the school.

“We’re not pretty excited, [we’re] very excited,” fifth-grader Tina
Halvadjian said, “just for the fact that we’re gonna see our homeland.”

Halvadjian, who had tears in her eyes as Boyamian hugged her on her
way to the bus, explained that this would be the first time they
“actually see what we’ve studied.”

“This is our first time going and it’s our homeland, too,” Hovig
Karahousaran said. He said he was excited to see cities and everything
on their itinerary.

Other excited students and parents said they could not say a specific
thing they were looking forward to, but that they were just excited
to see their “homeland.”

While in Armenia, the students will stay in Yerevan, the capital, for
a few days. They will tour the foreign ministry, as well as several
museums, visit two schools and meet children there, and see several
important religious places.

In addition, the students will be in the country for Republic Day,
or Armenian Independence Day, and be able to attend celebrations.

To raise money for the trip beforehand, coordinator Shari Melkonian
said the families held several fund-raisers and collected money outside
various stores. Several local vendors also contributed to their trip.

Melkonian said they raised about $15,000, half the total cost of
the trip.

In a brief ceremony prior to boarding the bus, archpriest Rev. Torkom
Hagopian gave each child a gold cross, and blessed them.

“It is nice [that they are going],” Hagopian said before the
ceremony. “It is very nice that the children at this age will see
the motherland.”

Boyamian, who has been principal at St. Stephen’s for 16 years, agreed.

“For the past eight years they have learned so much; now they will
see with their own eyes,” she said.

“You don’t get to practice [a language] until you’re in the country,”
said John Altandilian, co-chairman of the board at St. Stephen’s
School and a former French teacher. “They’re going to feel their
whole eight years of school in 10 days.”

While the students are gone, the rest of the school will track their
progress on a map in the lobby, and two fifth-grade students who did
not go will report to the school on their progress each day.

“It’s going to be memorable, definitely memorable,” said Lori
Orchanian, a mother who went with her son, Nicholas, a fifth-grader,
daughter Stephanie and husband Zareh.

Monica Deady can be reached at [email protected]

http://www.townonline.com/watertown/news/local_

CENN – May 21, 2004 Daily Digest

CENN – MAY 21, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Contents:
1. Leopard Spotted in Georgia For the First Time in Over 50 years, in
Danger of Poachers
2. 51 Globally Threatened Species
3. Shah Deniz- Phase-2 Start Linked to Gas Sale Agreement
4. USTDA Awards Grant to the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan for
Institutional Capacity Building
5. EBRD, WB and USAID to Set Up Fund for Providing Armenia with
Alternative Energy Sources
6. Iran, Armenia Sign Agreement on Gas Main Constructionf
7. The Environment and Security Initiative for the South Caucasus
8. Armenian Environmentalists’ Bid To Preserve Green Territories
9. EBRD Insists on Closure of Armenia’s Nuclear Power Plant
10. Results of the Children’s Creative Competition “World of Water
through the Eyes of Children 2004” Declared in Estonia
11. Stockholm Convention on POPs to Become International Law, Launching
Global
12. Request for Expressions of Interest
13. Summer School for Young Journalists and Human Rights Protectors,
Armenia
14. Request for Proposals (RFP) Management of Small Grant Programme for
NGO Capacity Building along the SCP and BTC Pipeline Routes Theme of the
Environmental Investment Programme

1. LEOPARD SPOTTED IN GEORGIA
For the first time in over 50 years, in danger of poachers

Appeal to the International and Local Communities
May 14, 2004

At the end of April 2004, remote-sensing cameras placed in Vashlovani
State Reserve (arid lands extreme southeastern part of the country
bordering to Azerbaijan) shot pictures of a leopard.

In winter 2003 two zoologists (Bejan Lortkipanidze and George
Darchiashvili) from NACRES – Georgian Centre for the Recovery of
Endangered Species – came across to footprints of a large cat during one
of the routine fieldworks in the Vashlovani Reserve. These fieldworks
are being carried out within the World Bank/GEF funded project for the
Development of Protected Areas System in Georgia.

The footprints were much larger than those of the biggest known cat
species of Georgia, the lynx. Concerned with the finding, field officers
took plaster copies of the footprints and NACRES sent them to the Asian
Leopard expert Dr. Lukarevski for validation. The response was
thrilling: without any doubt, the prints were made by a leopard.

In April 2004 NACRES placed remote sensing cameras in the Vashlovani
Reserve and photos confirming this evidence were taken.

Founded in 1989 NACRES chose a leopard for its logo not only because the
animal remains a dynamic symbol of Georgian culture and literature, but
also because it remains the most endangered mammal species in the South
Caucasus, and has been considered extinct in Georgia for more than fifty
years.

Naturalists and zoologists from the beginning of the last century were
describing extremely rare occasions of sighting of the leopard in high
mountains of great Caucasus Range. In 1952 one individual was killed in
the central-east of Georgia and it was considered the last animal for
the country. However, since the end of 90s some anecdotal and verbal
information from local populations from Khevsureti (high mountains of
the Great Caucasus Range) concerning sightings of a “huge, cat-like”
animal has been collected by the NACRES teams. In 2001, the WWF Caucasus
Office, supported by Dr. Lukarevski and NACRES carried out assessment
project in the Khevsureti region. No presence of animal was recorded.

Since the middle of the last decade, the arid and semi-arid ecosystems
of Georgia have been one of the priority research places for NACRES.
Nevertheless, no sign of leopard presence was recorded during these
years. Moreover, it was not even assumed that animal could be present in
the arid lands of the country, as nobody has ever observed it in the
region.

There is great cause for alarm, however: remote cameras have also taken
pictures of wildlife poachers in exactly the same area!

Hereby, NACRES would like to draw the attention of international and
local communities to a most urgent problem – the extremely high level of
poaching taking place in the most important protected areas of Georgia.
Wild animal populations have dramatically declined during the last
decade mainly due to the former administration’s almost non-existent
policy on environmental protection.

The recently elected government has inherited a dramatically ruined
economy from the previous administration. Nevertheless, we consider
environmental issues no less important than the other socioeconomic
issues that our country faces. Urgent measures have to be taken for the
protection of Georgia’s unique biodiversity at this crucial moment in
time. NACRES appeals to the Government of Georgia to urgently implement
effective measures for the protection of wildlife in the country.

NACRES also requests that the President of Georgia, Mr. Mikael
Saakashvili, to toughen control on Georgia’s unique reserves.

As a first step towards the initiation of real protection for Georgia’s
unique endangered species, NACRES urges him to take the fate of the
leopard recently observed in Vashlovani under his personal patronage.

Finally, NACRES requests that the international community support us in
the protection of the leopard in Georgia.

For this, we would greatly appreciate if you could urgently fax the
Offices of the President of Georgia and that of the Prime Minister
requesting them to immediately undertake tough protection measures for
this national treasure that NACRES has found – the very animal that has
been a symbol of our country for centuries

We would also be most grateful if you could copy your fax to NACRES
office using the following number: (+995-32) 537124

Contact information of Georgia’s Government:

HE Mr. Mikael Saakashvili
President of Georgia
President’s Office
Fax: (+995-32) 93 64 00

HE Mr. Zurab Zhvania
Prime Minister of Georgia
Office of the Prime Minister
Fax: (+995-32) 92 10 69

Thank you very much for your support!

For additional Information please contact:
Levan Butkhuzi
Head, Governing Board
NACRES
Regular Mail Address: PO Box 20; 0179
Tbilisi; Georgia (CIS)
Courier Address: 34, Gamrekeli str.; 0186
Tbilisi; Georgia (CIS
Fax: (+995-32) 537124
Tel: (+995-32) 537125
E-mail: [email protected]

2. 51 GLOBALLY THREATENED SPECIES
Get New Lease on Life in the Caucasus
$8.5 Million in Grants and Six-Country Council to Benefit Region

Embargoed for release until 25 May 2004, 0200 GMT

Tbilisi, Georgia (25 May 2004, 0200 GMT) – WWF, the conservation
organization, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) today
announced a CEPF investment strategy and a high-level advisory council
of governmental and nongovernmental representatives from Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia and Turkey to help conserve the rich
natural resources of the region.

Support for the council is a strategic part of a new regional
coordination approach, led by the WWF Caucasus Programme, to ensure
success of CEPF’s $8.5 million investment strategy. CEPF will award
grants to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society
groups working to safeguard high-priority areas for conservation in the
region, which spans the area between the Black and Caspian seas.

“These new developments will pull together partners from across the
region, enabling an inclusive approach for planning and action across
political boundaries that can be obstacles to successful conservation,”
said Giorgi Sanadiradze, director of the WWF Caucasus Programme.

A regional approach involving multiple stakeholders is also vital to
effectively address the broader social, economic and policy factors
essential to results that benefit both nature and people.

The forests, high mountain ecosystems and arid landscapes of the
Caucasus contain more than twice the animal diversity found in adjacent
regions of Europe and Asia. However, biodiversity of the Caucasus is
being lost at an alarming rate. Human activities have transformed nearly
half of the lands. Fifty-one species are at risk, including the
Critically Endangered Saiga antelope, Siberian crane and Baltic
(Atlantic) sturgeon.

CEPF investments will focus on conserving these 51 globally threatened
species, the majority of which are found in specific sites in five
target areas: Greater Caucasus, Caspian, West Lesser Caucasus, East
Lesser Caucasus and Hyrcan.

The announcement came as part of a series of events being held in
Tbilisi this week, including a workshop May 25-26 for NGOs, government
representatives and other stakeholders to learn more about the CEPF
investment strategy and to help develop an action plan for its
implementation. The first meeting of the Regional Council for
Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use in the Caucasus Ecoregion
will be May 26. A May 27 event will draw together all participants for
an official launch.

The Caucasus “ecoregion” is globally outstanding for its biodiversity.
It is also one of the world’s 25 biologically richest yet most
threatened areas. These areas known as “biodiversity hotspots” are the
focus of CEPF, a joint initiative of Conservation International, the
Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.

“Our investment program for the Caucasus is designed to meet the
challenges in a vast region of six unique countries,” said Dan Martin,
CEPF senior managing director. “By placing a regional conservation
leader such as WWF Caucasus at its heart, our support to local groups
will pioneer and equip new partnerships and approaches that are
necessary to make lasting conservation happen.”

The WWF Caucasus Programme coordinated an intensive process to develop
the CEPF strategy, known as an ecosystem profile, for the Caucasus. Its
approach ultimately drew participation from more than 130 experts
representing scientific, governmental and nongovernmental groups from
the six countries.

The Programme will act as the hub of CEPF strategy implementation in the
region, ensuring integration of the WWF and CEPF approach, helping local
groups develop grant proposals, disseminating information and assisting
in monitoring of the CEPF portfolio.

With headquarters in Tbilisi and country offices in Armenia and
Azerbaijan, WWF Caucasus will work together with WWF offices in Russia
and Turkey and the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment in
Iran to ensure effective coordination region-wide. The approach also
includes building a regional group of experts from the six countries to
assist in reviewing grant proposals as needed and act as a technical
advisory group, as well as assisting the new Regional Council in its
overarching role.

CONTACT:
Kakha Tolordava, WWF Caucasus, tel. (995) 32 33 01 54,
[email protected]
Bobbie Jo Kelso, CEPF, cell phone (1) 202 369-2031,
[email protected]

The WWF Caucasus Programme works to stop the degradation of the natural
environment in the Caucasus and to build a future in which humans live
in harmony with nature.
()

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund aims to dramatically advance
conservation of the Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened
areas in developing countries. A fundamental goal is to ensure that
civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. ().

3. SHAH DENIZ- PHASE-2 START LINKED TO GAS SALE AGREEMENT

Source: Interfax, May 19, 2004

The start of work on phase-2 of development at the Shah Deniz field is
linked with the signing of a long-term agreement to sell gas, State Oil
Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) President Natik Aliyev told
journalists.

“Agreements have already been signed as part of the first stage of
development. Now we are interested in the second stage and supplies of
Azerbaijani gas to Europe,” he said.

He said that as part of Phase-2 the company plans to organize supplies
of gas to Greece, and later to the Balkans and Italy.

“If we have long-term agreement to sell gas a decision may be reached on
the second stage of development,” Aliyev said.

The contract for the Shah Deniz field was signed in June 1996.
Shareholders in the project include also SOCAR – 10%, British Petroleum
– 25.5%, Norway’s Statoil – 25.5%, NICO – 10%, Total -10% and TPAO – 9%.

Recoverable reserves at Shah Deniz amount to 625 billion cubic meters of
gas and 101 million tonnes of gas condensate.
Phase-1 of the development of the field involves production of 178 bcm
of gas and 34 million tonnes of condensate.

4. USTDA AWARDS GRANT TO THE STATE OIL FUND OF AZERBAIJAN FOR
INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING

Source: Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of
State, May 19, 2004

Earlier today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a
$1,091,840 grant for technical assistance in institutional capacity
building for the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ). The grant was
conferred at a signing ceremony at SOFAZ offices in Baku. U.S.
Ambassador to Azerbaijan Reno Harnish and SOFAZ Executive Director Samir
Sharifov signed an agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Azerbaijani
Governments, respectively.

SOFAZ was created by the Government of Azerbaijan in 1999 in order to
accumulate and manage oil-related revenue and maintain it for the
purposes of future generations. The Government of Azerbaijan has seen
over $1.1 billion in revenues from the oil industry since then. This
amount is expected to increase as a result of the commissioning of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas export
pipeline.

The USTDA-funded technical assistance is designed to assist SOFAZ in
developing its human resources and institutional capacity to better
manage these revenues. The first phase of the assistance will focus on
reviewing and refining current asset and risk management guidelines and
policies. The opportunity to provide the technical assistance will be
competed among interested U.S. firms via the Federal Business
Opportunities website at

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and
U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The
agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies,
training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the
development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading
environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to
support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries
creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable
economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis
to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and
services.

5. EBRD, WB AND USAID TO SET UP FUND FOR PROVIDING ARMENIA WITH
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES

Source: PanARMENIAN.Net, May 19, 2004

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will render
financial assistance to Armenia for providing the country with
alternative energy sources, EBRD President Jean Lemierre told
journalists in Yerevan today. In his words, the matter concerns the
construction of small water power plants as well as wind and solar power
systems. Mr. Lemierre reported that the EBRD together with the World
Bank and the US Agency for International Development will set up a joint
fund for the financing of these projects.

6. IRAN, ARMENIA SIGN AGREEMENT ON GAS MAIN CONSTRUCTION

Source: RIA OREANDA, May 16, 2004

An agreement on construction of a gas pipeline Iran-Armenia was signed
on Thursday. The agreement was signed by Energy Minister of Armenia
Armen Movsesyan and Irani Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh.
According to the agreement, Iran is to supply 1.1bn cubic meters of
natural gas annually, and Armenia is to pay for it with electric energy.
Presumably, the supply volume will be further increased to 2bn cubic
meters per year. Companies to take part in the project’s execution are
to be singled out by means of a tender.

Earlier, the Armenian part had meant to participate in the project
designed by Gazprom and Ukrainian companies. Building of the gas
pipeline will cost the Armenian part about $90mln, and the Irani one-
$120mln.

7. THE ENVIRONMENT AND SECURITY INITIATIVE FOR THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

The Environment and Security Initiative for the South Caucasus began its
first of a series of National Consultations in Yerevan, 10-11 May 2004
with the international organizations, government officials, and local
NGOs in attendance. The purpose of the Consultation was to visualize
environment and security issues in Armenia in order to set a foundation
for future development projects. The activities included mapping
exercises and policy discussions. The ENVSEC initiative is a product of
collaboration among the OSCE, UNEP and UNDP.

Prepared By CENN

8. ARMENIAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS’ BID TO PRESERVE GREEN TERRITORIES

Source: A1 Plus, May 19, 2004

A real battle for land has broken out in Armenian capital’s Zeytun
district. The district residents are trying to prevent construction of
apartment blocks in the district’s green area.

Many trees have been recently cut here.

Coalition for Preservation of Green Plantations, Armenian environmental
union, intends to stage a protest action on coming Saturday.

9. EBRD INSISTS ON CLOSURE OF ARMENIA’S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Source: RIA Novosti, May 19, 2004

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is going to set up
a fund for financing the development of alternative sources of
electricity, EBRD president Jean Lemier has said on Wednesday.

He has discussed the idea with officials in Armenia and they liked it,
he said.

The fund will finance small programmes costing from 0.5 to 1.5 million
euros in regions of Armenia. They will be, for instance, wind-powered
and small hydraulic stations, Lemier said.

The European Union demands mothballing of the Armenian nuclear power
station and is ready to allocate 100 million euros towards this end, as
well as creation of alternative sources of electricity.

The leadership of Armenia believes that the Armenian nuclear facility
should operate until the republic has enough supply of energy.

According to Vardan Khachatrian, Armenian Finance and Economic Minister,
the republic is working to create alternative sources of energy for the
event of the closure of the nuclear facility but completion of such work
will require about a billion euros.

The Armenian nuclear power station was initially halted in March 1989,
less than a year after the devastating earthquake in Spitak, Leninakan
and other Armenian cities. The nuclear power facility’s second block,
having the Russian VVER-440 reactor of the first generation, produces on
an average from 30 to 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity. In the
estimate of experts, it can continue until 2016.

In September 2003 the government of Armenia passed the Armenian nuclear
power station in five-year trust management by Russia’s United Energy
Systems.

10. RESULTS OF THE CHILDREN’S CREATIVE COMPETITION “WORLD OF WATER
THROUGH THE EYES OF CHILDREN 2004” DECLARED IN ESTONIA
Press release

May 18, 2004

In 2004, the total of 1,151 works were submitted to the competition,
this being several hundred more than last year. Participants came from
all the counties of Estonia.

As usual, works of art were also most abundant this year – more than
1,009 creations in different techniques. In the youngest age group, the
number of presented works was 290 and in the older – 719.

The number of written works filed for this year’s competition was
remarkably more sizeable than during earlier years, altogether 116
items, 51 of them in the younger age group and 65 in the older one.

The total quantum of researches this year was 26, with 20 from the
younger and 6 submitted by the older group of children.

Congratulations to the winners and gratitude to all students and
teachers for their active participation!

The best of this year’s competition head on a prize trip to Pskov,
Russia, from June 25 to 28, which will also be the venue for awarding
the Estonian, Latvian and Russian winners of the international creative
competition.

The winners of the younger age group in artistic works will be rewarded
with gifts.

The international creative competition for children and young people,
“World of Water through the Eyes of Children”, is being collaboratively
organized by the countries of the Lake Peipsi basin: Estonia, Latvia and
the Pskov region in Russia. Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation
has been the initiator of the international creative competition for
children and the Estonian-side organizer since the year 1996.

Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation
Project manager
Anna Gramberg
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +372 56914066

11. STOCKHOLM CONVENTION ON POPS TO BECOME INTERNATIONAL LAW, LAUNCHING
GLOBAL
Campaign to Eliminate 12 Hazardous Chemicals

STOCKHOLM/NAIROBI, 14 May 2004 – The 2001 Stockholm Convention on
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) enters into force on Monday, 17
May, marking the start of an ambitious international effort to rid the
world of PCBs, dioxins and furans, and nine highly dangerous pesticides.

“The Stockholm Convention will save lives and protect the natural
environment — particularly in the poorest communities and countries –
by banning the production and use of some of the most toxic chemicals
known to humankind”, said Executive Klaus Toepfer of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), under whose auspices the Convention was
adopted.

“Over the next several years national investments plus donor pledges of
hundreds of millions will channel more than $500 million into an overdue
and urgently needed initiative to ensure that future generations do not
have to live as we do with measurable quantities of these toxic
chemicals stored in their bodies”, he said.

Much of this funding will be managed by the Global Environment Facility
(GEF), which serves as the financial mechanism for the Convention on an
interim basis.

Of all the pollutants released into the environment every year by human
activity, POPs are amongst the most dangerous. For decades these highly
toxic chemicals have killed and sickened people and animals by causing
cancer and damaging the nervous, reproductive and immune systems. They
have also caused uncounted birth defects.

Governments will seek a rapid start to action against POPs when they
meet for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention (COP 1) in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the first week of May
2005. They will fast-track efforts to:

* Reduce or eliminate the carcinogenic chemicals known as dioxins and
furans, which are produced unintentionally as by-products of combustion.
Many of the required improvements in technologies and processes may
prove expensive and technically challenging, particularly for developing
countries;

* Assist countries in malarial regions to replace DDT with increasingly
safe and effective alternatives. Until such alternatives are in place,
the Convention allows Governments to continue using DDT to protect their
citizens from malaria – a major killer in many tropical regions;

* Support efforts by each national Government to develop an
implementation plan. Already, over 120 developing countries have started
to elaborate such plans with funds from the GEF. The COP will also focus
on channeling new funds into POPs projects;

* Measure and evaluate changes in the levels of POPs in the natural
environment and in humans and animals in order to confirm whether the
Convention is indeed reducing releases of POPs to the environment;

* Establish a POPs review committee for evaluating additional chemicals
and pesticides to be added to the initial list of 12 POPs;

* Finalize guidelines for promoting “best environmental practices” and
“best available techniques” that can reduce and eliminate releases of
dioxins and furans.

In addition to banning the use of POPs, the treaty focuses on cleaning
up the growing accumulation of unwanted and obsolete stockpiles of
pesticides and toxic chemicals that contain POPs. Dump sites and toxic
drums from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are now decaying and leaching
chemicals into the soil and poisoning water resources, wildlife and
people. The Convention also requires the disposal of PCBs and
PCB-containing wastes.

Every human in the world carries traces of POPs in his or her body. POPs
are highly stable compounds that can last for years or decades before
breaking down. They circulate globally through a process known as the
“grasshopper effect”. POPs released in one part of the world can,
through a repeated process of evaporation and deposit, be transported
through the atmosphere to regions far away from the original source.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to most POPs. The problem has been
that high costs, a lack of public awareness, and the absence of
appropriate infrastructure and technology have often prevented their
adoption. Solutions must be tailored to the specific properties and uses
of each chemical, as well as to each country’s climatic and
socio-economic conditions.

For additional information, please contact:
Eric Falt, UNEP Spokesperson, in Nairobi
Tel: +254-20-62-3292, mobile: +254-733-682656
E-mail: [email protected];
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media
Tel: +254-20-623084, mobile: +254-733-632755
E-mail: [email protected];
Michael Williams, UNEP Information Officer, in Geneva
Tel: +41-22-917- 8242, mobile: +41-79-409-1528
E-mail: [email protected]

See also the Convention website at

For more information, contact:

Michael Williams
Information Officer
UNEP Geneva
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

12. REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

CONSULTANT SERVICES

Country: Georgia
Project: Improving Livelihood Security in Kolkheti Lowland
Financing: Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF).
Sector: Consultant Services
Grant No: TF 050946
Project ID No. P060009/P050911
Subject: Expressions of interest
Deadline: June 04, 2004

The Government of Georgia has received a grant from Japan Social
Development Fund toward the cost of the project entitled Improving
Livelihood Security in Kolkheti Lowland, Georgia, and intends to apply
part of the proceeds of the grant for consultant services: Community
Mobilization and Capacity Building in Kolkheti. The services include the
Provision of technical assistance to local communities to: (i) develop
Community Action Plans through a participatory rural appraisal process;
(ii) strengthen Community-Based Organizations; and (iii) train local
communities in problem solving, strategic planning, proposal preparation
and implementation.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Centre now invites eligible
consultants to indicate their interest in providing the services.
Interested consultants and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must
provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the
services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in
similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff,
etc.). Consultants/NGOs may associate to enhance their qualifications.

The Consultants/NGOs have to submit a Capability Statement, which should
demonstrate that the organization meets the following criteria:

(a) Legally established and registered;
(b) Physical presence in Samegrelo and/or Guria regions; At least 3
years experience in implementation of effective projects in Western
Georgia, particularly in the fields of social development and capacity
building.
(c) Have a good understanding of social, political and environmental
issues existing in the Samegrelo and/or Guria regions;
(d) Experience in mobilizing communities through Community Participatory
Assessment or similar processes;
(e) Experience in conflict management.

The consultants/NGOs will be selected in accordance with the World
Bank’s Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants by World Bank
Borrowers, January 1997 (revised in September 1997, January 1999 and May
2002). Selection will be done following Selection Based on the
Consultant’s Qualifications method (CQ).

Interested consultants/NGOs may obtain further information at the
address below during office hours from 10:00 to 18:00 (local time).

Expressions of interest must be delivered to the address below by June
04th, 2004.

Contact: INTEGRATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CENTRE
Ms. Ketevan CHOMAKHIDZE, Public Awareness Specialist
2nd Floor, 87 Paliashvili Street
Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel/fax +995 (32) 25-20-50
Mobile +995 (99) 111-55-6 mobile
Fax +1 (419) 791-6651 fax
E-mail [email protected]
Webpage

13. SUMMER SCHOOL FOR YOUNG JOURNALISTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTORS,
ARMENIA

This conference is open for youth between 18 and 25 from all European
countries. Deadline for application is June 1, 2004.

INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL FOR

YOUNG JOURNALISTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTORS

Introduction.

The International Summer School Young Journalists and Human Rights
Protectors will bring together 30 youth activists and youth leaders from
45 countries for one week to share ideas and experiences, gain practical
skills and build international networks and joint projects.

1. The Summer School is organized every year and this year is the Third
Summer School Young Journalists and Human Rights protectors, which will
include 3 Groups:

1st Group Ö Seminars for Young Journalists

2nd Group Ö Seminars for Young Human Rights protectors

3rd Group Ö International Summer School Young Journalists and Human
Rights protectors for Young activists. The event will run over one week
from 1 to 7 August at Evrika College in Vanadzor, Armenia.

2. Our Partners:

UNICEF, Internews, Caucasus Institute of Journalism, Centre of Civil and
Socio-Legal Support.

3. The aims of the Summer School are to allow young people to:

§ Share achievements and ideas
§ Develop knowledge and skills to tackle local and global issues
§ Work together on projects
§ Develop a global perspective on issues and explore the implications
for local action
§ Develop ideas for future action
§ Armenia from the Youth Side. Preparation for the Photo Exhibition.
§ Have Fun!

The Programme

The weekÒs programme will consist of a mixture of elements: workshops to
explore issues and skills and social and sporting events and a range of
other activities to encourage interaction and international
link-building.

Workshops

There are two broad types of workshops:

Plenaries will run at the start of each day and will serve to give a
broad introduction to the theme that is being discussed on that day.

Theme workshops will enable delegates to explore some of major issues
affecting the world, providing fascinating mixtures of views from a
diverse range of cultural, social, economic and political backgrounds.

Skills workshops will equip the young activists with the tools to begin
to forge a better tomorrow and help them to make a difference to their
communities.

Theme Workshops:

§ Globalization
§ Human Rights
§ Peace
§ Health
§ Environment
§ Culture
§ Government and Mass Media
§ Journalistic Management
§ TV and Radio
§ Mass Media and Youth problems
§ Global solution of problems

Skills Workshops:

§ Fundraising
§ Project Management
§ Advocacy
§ Communication
§ Information Technology
§ Conflict Resolution
§ Mass Media
§ Government, politics
§ Civil Society
§ Youth

For the development of good international relationships, the group of
participants of the Summer School will work together on joint projects
and publish them, a photo exhibition of participants will also be
organized.

4. Other Events

In addition there will be strong programme of sports and social events,
and plenty of chances for everyone to interact informally and get to
know each other.

5. What to do if you are interested.

The participant fee is $300 per person for 7 days; this includes full
board and lodging at Evrika College in students accommodation for the
duration of the Summer School, all programme costs plus the opportunity
to participate in a range of outdoor activities.

For further information or to make preliminary booking, please contact
Svetlana Davtyan, Association of Business Women of Armenia, 10 Banaki
str., 377201 Vanadzor, Armenia.
Tel: (+374 51) 25335, (+374 9) 318398
E-mail: [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected]

Deadline for Application: 1 June 2004

14. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) MANAGEMENT OF SMALL GRANT PROGRAMME FOR
NGO CAPACITY BUILDING ALONG THE SCP AND BTC PIPELINE ROUTES THEME OF
THE ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME

For Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline and Southern Caucasus Pipeline
(SCP)

Operated by BP
Issuance Date: 24 May 2004
Closing Date and Time: 12:00 noon Tbilisi time 12 July 2004

BP, acting as Operator for and on behalf of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
Pipeline Company (BTC) and the South Caucasus Pipeline Company Ltd.
(SCP), is seeking applications from qualified national and international
organizations to identify and implement projects under one of the key
priority themes identified by BTC and SCP as part the “Environmental
Investment Programme” (EIP) for the projects.

The Principal Objective of the EIP is the delivery of actions that are
of benefit in the promotion and conservation of biodiversity. The EIP
is divided up into a number of different themes, which were identified
during a process of consultation with national and international
stakeholders.

EIP is the principal environmental programme in SCP/BTC’s portfolio of
civil society development programmes in Georgia. Other programmes
include the Community Investment Programme (CIP), which specialises in
socio-economic development projects with communities along the
pipelines; and a new programme which will use independent external
funding to assist NGOs wishing to monitor the BTC and SCP pipeline
construction activities, by helping them to acquire the necessary
auditing and reporting skills. Other socio-economic and environmental
activities may be added to the portfolio in due course. Each programme
has its own themes and objectives; but they are all linked together
under the overarching theme of encouraging civil society development in
Georgia.

Proposals are now sought for projects exclusively within the following
EIP key priority theme: Management of Small Grant Programme for NGO
Capacity Building along the SCP and BTC Pipeline Routes Theme of the
Environmental Investment Programme. This will entail a capacity needs
assessment of NGOs/CBOs working in the seven districts through which the
pipelines pass, design of the scope and operating mechanisms for the
Programme, and its subsequent management over a two year period.

BP, as operator, strongly encourages alliances between international
organizations, national organisations and community based organizations
to deliver the projects.

Organisation eligible to submit a proposal are:
ž Not-for-profit, Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO’s), and
non-governmental organisations or associations officially registered
with a permit to operate in Georgia.
ž Private or commercial firms registered in Georgia who are willing to
operate on an ‘at cost’ basis (fee/profit must be waived).
ž An international organisation registered appropriately to operate in
Georgia.
ž An international organisation not registered to operate in Georgia but
in partnership / formal documented alliance with a national organisation
so registered.
ž Any combination of the above in partnership / formal documented
alliance.

Lead organizations must be able to demonstrate all of the following
capabilities:
ž Proven experience in the management and/or implementation of
grant-type project or equivalent initiative with funds of at least USD
$50,000 over the course of the project.
ž Proven experience in the management and implementation of small
grant/capacity building projects.
ž Proven expertise in the theme under which the project proposal is
submitted.
ž Ability to undertake all work in a manner that protects the health and
safety of all individuals who are involved in the activities.
ž Ability to produce auditable accounts.

Applicants are invited to collect Request for Proposal documents between
24 May and 5 June 2004 from:

BTC Pipeline Company/SCP Company Ltd.
C/O BP Georgia Project Office
38 Saburtalo Street 380094
Tbilisi, Georgia

Request for Proposal documentation is also available on the following
web sites at:

*******************************************
CENN INFO
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

Tel: ++995 32 92 39 46
Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]
URL:

www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/europe/where/caucasus/index.cfm
www.cepf.net
www.eps.gov.
www.pops.int.
www.unep.ch
www.ICZM.org.ge
www.caspiandevelopmentandexport.com
www.assistancegeorgia.org.ge
www.rec-caucasus.org
www.cenn.org

Armenian economy on a roll

Armenian economy on a roll

Yerevan, May. 21 (UPI) — Armenia’s economy grew by more than 9
percent in the first quarter of 2004, Interfax reported Friday.

According to the National Statistics Service of Armenia, growth in
the remote and mountainous Caucasus republic was 9.3 percent from
January through March compared with the same period in 2003, Interfax
said. The growth exceeded state budget projections, which had aimed
for a still ambitious seven percent growth rate.

President Robert Kocharian told journalists in Yerevan that the growth
was the result of balanced economic policy that encouraged the gradual
development of all economic sectors, rather than focusing on just
one or two to the detriment of the rest, Interfax said.