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Mission to explore options for Canadian support to Armenian democracy

July 7, 2021

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C.
Ambassador of Canada to Germany
Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe
Federal Republic of Germany

Subject: Mission to explore options for Canadian support to Armenian democracy

Dear Ambassador:

The long-standing people-to-people ties between Canada and Armenia have been enhanced in recent years by our cooperation in strengthening Armenian democracy. However, during the past few years, while Armenia has seen important political reforms, it has also suffered from the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. These challenges make it imperative that Canada continue to support the Armenian people’s desire to preserve the democratic progress achieved to date and to further develop Armenia’s democratic institutions going forward.

As Canada’s Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe, you have agreed to assess Canada’s current efforts to strengthen Armenian democracy. Building on the efforts Canada has been making to support democracy in Armenia in recent years, particularly following Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit in 2018, your mission will be to assess what else Canada can do to help sustain Armenia’s democratic development during these critical times. You are to produce a report to the Minister of Foreign Affairs outlining recommendations as to how Canada can best achieve this objective. Your work will begin following the June 20, 2021, Armenian election and should be completed within several months.

Your mandate will be to explore how Canada can strengthen its support to democracy in Armenia and harness all the goodwill that exists in the Canadian society toward Armenia. You should take a broad view of the various possibilities for assessing Canada’s options, including meeting with as wide a range of interlocutors as possible, using virtual engagement tools when required to overcome the challenges of COVID‑19 restrictions. Provided that COVID‑19 conditions do not make it unsafe to travel, you should make every effort to visit Armenia during your work, to gain first-hand insights on the ground and expand the number of interlocutors that you are able to engage with.

You should consider options for how Canada can support Armenia’s democratic development through various means, including the following:

  • Bilateral engagement with the Government of Armenia
  • Support to Armenian civil society
  • Support to democratic institutions
  • Engagement of the multilateral system
  • Economic partnership

Over and above the ongoing projects that we have with Armenia, your mission should identify multiple different avenues by which Canada can support Armenia’s democratic development, including our representation on the ground. Your mission is specifically focused on Canadian support to Armenian democracy, so as to help strengthen our bilateral ties. As such, it will not address the situation of Nagorno-Karabakh and issues in the broader region.

Your mission should conclude with a report to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, outlining concrete steps that Canada can take within the next five years to support Armenians in their efforts to strengthen their democracy. The final report will be made publicly available. Coupled with your consultations with Canadian and Armenian stakeholders, the report should help Canada more seamlessly and fruitfully engage with a range of international, local and Canada-based champions of Armenian democratic reform, paving the way for ongoing collaboration.

Thank you for agreeing to take on this important task. Canada and Armenia have a shared interest in working together to strengthen Armenian democracy, which will not only benefit the people of Armenia, but will help to further enhance the close ties between our countries. Your report will be eagerly anticipated.


The Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P.


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