President Serzh Sargsyan visited today the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The President of Armenia toured several departments of the Ministry, including labor and employment, disabled and elderly people affairs departments, conversed with the employees about the activities conducted in the framework of their functions, and forthcoming programs, inquired about their working conditions and existing problems. Later, at the conference hall of the Ministry, the President conducted a working meeting with the leadership of the Ministry.

At the meeting, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Deputy Ministers, Head of Staff and the Head of State Social Security Service reported on the works carried out in their respective areas, spoke about the existing problems and development programs.

Minister Artem Asatryan presented the main results of the Ministry activities for 2013, the process of programs carried out, spoke about the existing challenges and forthcoming steps.

First Deputy Minister Arayik Petrossyan reported on the works related to labor and employment, social support, spoke about demographic problems and the activities aimed at their solution in the framework of their functions. Deputy Minister Jemma Baghdasaryan presented the activities and future steps related to disabled people social inclusion and elderly people social protection issues. Another Deputy Minister Sona Harutyunyan reported on the process of monitoring of the projects conducted in social protection area and evaluation system efficiency, and spoke about future activities.

Deputy Minister, Filaret Berikyan reported on family, women and children's issues, gender politics, and anti-trafficking and charity programs.

Head of State Social Security Armen Abrahamyan presented the system of ''Electronic Pension'', its advantages and effectiveness, after which Head of Staff, Artak Grigoryan reported on the steps carried out related to the ministry staff structure, human resources and current activities management and increasing the effectiveness of staff function.

After listening to the Leadership reports, the President gave instructions to the responsible people in certain issues. The President spoke about Ministry future problems and priority directions of activity, also about conducted improvements. The President of Armenia stressed the importance of thoroughly and accessible presentation of improvements to the public which is actual, especially in the case of pension system improvements due to the President convincement.

According to the President, while speaking to people, it can be often heard that they do not know about it, they did not have time to read, listen or watch the notifications made a few days ago. In this case, all responsible people should continue to present, explain the importance, effectiveness and actuality of these improvements for the public, also mention to where they can lead our country and society.

President Serzh Sargsyan underlined that improvements on social area have wide range of process and we do not have any right to slow this process. In regard to pension system improvement, the President emphasized. “I am convinced that this improvement is a complex of program which will be called historical, years will pass and your today’s work will be only granted with respect and gratitude. Obviously the results will probably not be visible both for me and for you. However, if we are involved in this work and are deeply convinced that this improvement is exact and it is one of the programs which tends to our country’s future, then, I repeat again that we should explain it everyone with patience. We are responsible for everyone. We are responsible also for the people who do not understand the logic of this improvement or do not accept and perceive it under general dissatisfaction. However, these people will also use the results of this improvement. Therefore, one again, Mr. Minister, we should mobilize not only Ministry full staff, but also various specialists, people, our supporters in order to explain the essence, meaning and aims of the improvement in detail. It is extremely important.’’

The President underlined that social area improvements are integral parts of our fellow citizens’ social condition improvement. It is evident that people’s social condition is based on economic growth and low inflation which make it possible to increase salaries and to make various investments. People should feel directly economic growth in their lives.

“At this time we turn our focus on boosting economic growth and jobs creation, especially that projects were conducted during the years which have almost reached their final stage. This year several companies will be launched which will have essential impact on our economy” President Serzh Sargsyan said, underlining that these projects will constantly have continuous funding in line with changing economic structure. The President of Armenia expressed confidence that the Ministry will be insistent in his improvements.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a group of the Ministry employees were awarded for diligent and efficient work. Aghavni Asatryan, Finance and Accounting Department Accounting Senior Specialist, Hasmik Khachatryan, Head of Department of Public Relations, Roza Mkrtchyan, Deputy Head of Pension Security Department, Karmen Petrosyan, Head of Disabled and Elderly People Issues Department received Presidential Letters of Commendation.

At the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the President responded also to the questions raised by the participants of the meeting related to domestic and foreign policy, defense and security of our country.

In particular, responding to the question on how realistic the President Ilham Aliyev bellicose declarations are to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh issue by force and our country’s response in contrast to this armament, considering Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev from time to time statements on starting war, press reports about Azerbaijan armament, estimation about that Azerbaijan bought armament for 3 billion dollars during last 4-5 years, President Serzh Sargsyan said, “In your opinion how long is Ilham Aliyev speak such way, if he can do, why is not he doing, if he should do, why is he talking about it. I can not exclude that military operations will not be held in such an environment, because at least two people in our country, the President and the Defense Minister should probably consider that military operations can start just tomorrow. I still do not see military operation in foreseeable future, but we will have to fight if we are imposed. You said “what you are doing”. We do that special squad soldiers from Baku, the number of whom is of 3-4 time more than we, do not manage to perform their task and, in fact, they failed, bearing more losses than border keeping our solders. This is the first. I want to tell that our Army combat preparedness is on sufficiently high level. Second, our position equipments are relevant to today's situation. If one of you are in our border positions, you will see both our commanders and soldiers equipping their positions: making different traps, inventing warning devices and using various tricks. If you remember, such act of diversion had success two years ago. It is not a coincidence that they failed now. It means we use means for our turn, senior commanders, junior commanders and the most important, our ordinary soldiers for their turns. Third, we replenish our arsenals, military reserves, our armor, weapons, and equipment not less than anyone. Every time we acquire modern weapons used in special cases along with the use of mass weapons. We are not behind anyone in this field. Yes, the money put in our budget are not so expressive, do not reach billions, but I assure you that our Army ammunition does not have much lack. I say it does not have much lack, because there are few armies in the world which are fully equipped with ammunition. Army is the body that every time requires new weapons and ammunition. This is typical to all armies. We do not want war, it is evident that we do not want it, but we have no other way if we are imposed".

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