Yerevan/Mediamax/. Former Deputy Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan Carel Hofstra told Mediamax that the closure of OSCE Office in Yerevan will slow down the integration of Armenia in the European structures.
OSCE Office in Yerevan will officially end its operation on August 31 of 2017.
In 2005-2009 Carel Hofstra was Politico-Military Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan. In 2009-2012 he held the position of the Deputy Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. Currently he works in EU-financed Support for Migration and Border Management in Armenia (MIBMA) program.
“The closure of OSCE Office will weaken ties between Armenia and OSCE. Having small budget and staff, the office has carried out an enormous work,” Carel Hofstra told Mediamax.
He noted that OSCE is a consensus-based structure, so failure in unanimous approach for the extension of Yerevan Office mandate was not a surprise.
“Nevertheless, I am hopeful that OSCE Secretariat, as well as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and ODIHR will continue implementing some of the Office’s activities, aimed at supporting human right in Armenia, legal, judicial and democratic reforms and media-related issues,” Carel Hofstra said.
According to him, due to the closure of Yerevan Office, some of its programs may be implemented by representations of the Council of Europe, UN in Armenia and some NGOs.
“Generally speaking, the work will go on, though the implementation of the programs on human rights in law-enforcement bodies will be tougher, as it requires specialized approach and trust, which we have built over the years”, Carel Hofstra told Mediamax.