President Serzh Sargsyan attended today the solemn ceremony of inauguration of newly elected Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan, which was held during the special meeting of the Council of Elders of Yerevan. The President congratulated Taron Margaryan and the members of the newly elected Council of Elders on assuming responsibility for the governance of the capital city.
The President of Armenia addressed the participants of the ceremonious event with congratulatory remarks. President Serzh Sargsyan’s Remarks at Yerevan Mayor’s Inauguration Ceremony
Distinguished members of the Yerevan Council of Elders,
Dear Mr. Margaryan,
I am congratulating all the members of the newly elected Council of Elders of Yerevan and Mayor Taron Margaryan on assuming responsibility for the governance of the capital city. I am happy for both my fellow RPA members and the representatives of other political forces who won the trust of Yerevan’s residents. You all struggled hard to earn that vote.
I believe that common interest of Yerevan community may overwhelm political differences and unite you for the sake of a common cause. I am hopeful that this very spirit will be dominant throughout your work in this local government authority. Please remember that Yerevan is the capital of all Armenians: it is the Homeland’s emblem for the Armenians scattered around the world.
The Yerevan City Council elections summed up the electoral campaign in 2017. It is very important that we have formed a municipal government that expresses the will of our people. Now, we need to calm down the electoral passions and leave them in the past. It is high time to get down to work.
2018 will be a symbolic year for us. Armenians around the world will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the May heroic battles and the founding of the First Republic of Armenia. In the same year, we will be marking the 2800 anniversary of the capital city, which is as much important. Primary responsibility for organizing anniversary celebrations falls on the shoulders of the newly elected municipal government.
Yes, Yerevan is an ancient city, but at the same time, it is being modernized consistently and updated with new rules of coexistence. Our goal is that the centuries-old Yerevan might keep pace with the modern developments. You may know that tourism is one of our economic priorities. Therefore, the city should have a modern European look, modern lighting, comfortable sidewalks, crossings and public recreation areas. We must do away with wiring bunches and other shortfalls in terms of aesthetics, first of all, of course, in the city center.
Yerevan is facing a number of complex issues that need appropriate solutions. Transportation is one of them. The city is developing constantly: we can see ever growing number of cars in the streets. Traffic jams are commonplace at certain hours of the day creating inconvenience for Yerevan residents and guests.
There is no need to invent a bicycle to solve a problem. We need to study the international experience and see how it can be applied locally. As far as I know, in other cities this problem is addressed by means of developing and enhancing the attractiveness of public transport. I understand that the task I am setting before you is not that easy. I am aware that you are collaborating with international consultants in this direction, but it should be one of the most basic elements of your work, which has to be expedited.
Another major problem is the whole process of waste disposal and waste management. Here we have already achieved some success as we have created a properly devised system for the capital city, which is an example of successful cooperation between the public and private sectors.
But have no right to be satisfied. In the short term, we need to create a new landfill: the old one must be landscaped and returned to nature. Over the medium term, we need to build a waste recycling plant. We have to develop a new waste management system. Awareness thereof should be raised consistently through media outlets along with appropriate training provided at schools.
Let no one think that these are unattainable goals. What we have today might seem far-fetched some ten years ago. But all together, we have proved that we can do that and we can solve the problems facing us.
A new way has to be picked out in solving issues related to the maintenance of the housing estate. Condominium is not just a new name and a match for the utilities inherited from the Soviet era. Condominium is an association of apartment owners. One is supposed to care for the entrance, elevator, roofing, basement and, generally speaking, the entire apartment building just as they would care for a private housing.
We already have such positive examples, and that culture should be propagated in a bid to root out the adverse old traditions. Here I must emphasize that serious attention needs to be paid to the elevators’ system, preventing the recurrence of accidents. I feel that most of our elevators are in urgent need of substitution.
Yerevan has many problems that need to be addressed. I once told you that you have no right to disappoint us. You have not, because you are the son of Andranik Margaryan and one of the leaders of the Republican Party.
This is a memorable day for you: today is the birthday of your father – my friend Andranik Margaryan of blessed memory. You swore in the presence of the Catholicos of All Armenians that you will faithfully serve Yerevan and its residents. You simply need to work day and night to be able to increase the respect and trust of the capital’s residents in order to maintain the position of the leader with the highest rating in Yerevan so that at the next election you could earn even more votes and continue in office.
Dear Mayor of Yerevan,
Dear members of the Council of Elders,
Reiterating my congratulations, I wish you fruitful work for the prosperity of the twelfth Armenian capital and for the sake of Armenia’s progress!