Thursday, June 28, 2007


Jun 21, 2007
AZG Armenian Daily, Armenia

Armenia is the 112th according to the Failed State Index made up by the Foreign Policy magazine (USA) and The Fund of Peace.

Iran is the 57th in this list, Georgia – the 58th, Azerbaijan – the 62nd and Turkey - the 92nd.

177 states are included in the research of 2007. The analysts took into account political/military, social, economic, demographic tendencies, internal and foreign conflicts, protection of human rights, presence of refugees and internally displaced persons, system of government and other indicators.

In the Social Indicator part of the page dedicated to Armenia low birth and high death rates are mentioned as negative phenomena: "a drop in the birth rate from 21.6 per 1,000 in 1989 to 10.2 per 1,000 in 2002 coincided with a rise in the death rate from 6.5 per 1,000 in 1989 to 8.5 per 1,000 in 2003".

In the part of Economic Indicator is mentioned that Armenia has a high level of inequality: "The top 10% of the population controls 41.3% of the wealth while the bottom 10% controls only 1.6%".

Although Armenia suffered from negative economic growth during the 1990s as a result of the Karabakh conflict and the collapse of the centrally managed industrial economy left from the days of the Soviet Union, there were positive growth rates from 1995-2005. The economy grew by an estimated 13.9% in 2005.

According to Foreign Policy Armenia is currently hosting about 235,000 refugees from Azerbaijan and also has about 50,000 internally displaced persons resulting from the conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region from 1988 to 1994.

The high unemployment rate is one of the biggest problems of Armenia and is estimated at 32-35% (three times the official figure), the analysts emphasize.

The impunity of the police forces, corruption and excessive concentration of power in the hands of the president are the main political issues that the analysts underscore: "Armenia, like many of the former Soviet Republics, has an authoritarian government and is still struggling with the transition to a market economy. The conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region also remains unresolved. In addition to reaching an agreement with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, the government needs to allow greater democracy, uphold human rights, and focus on reducing unemployment to prevent the Armenian workforce from leaving the country or becoming too dependent on subsistence agriculture".

Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Cote de’Ivoire, North Korea head the list of the Failed States.

The list ends with the most stable states of the world: Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Ireland, Switzerland, New Zeeland, Iceland, Denmark, Austria and Canada are among the last ten states of the list.

By Aghavni Harutyunian

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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