Artak Beglaryan, the former Human Rights Defender of Nagorno-Karabakh, was appointed Minister of State — the most high-ranking position in the government following that of the President and the Speaker of Parliament.
The post of Minister of State was created in 2018, replacing the post of Prime Minister. Beglaryan was appointed to the position by Nagorno-Karabakh President Arayik Harutyunyan.
Beglaryan resigned as Human Rights Defender in December 2020. Since December, Beglaryan had worked as the Presidential chief of staff.
‘We hoped that Beglaryan would kickstart significant changes in the government system’, Anush Ghavalyan, Karabakh-based journalist and the former assistant to the Speaker of Parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh, told OC Media. ‘Though, now as well Beglaryan will coordinate important fields for the post-war country’.
The post of Minister of State currently manages the work of four ministries: Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Migration, Health, Justice, and Education, Science, Culture and Sports. It also manages the Committee of Nature Protection.
In his latest address, Beglaryan apologised that he was not able to fulfill many of his plans as head of the Presidential administration due to the ‘short time’ he was in the position and the large amount of work. However, he promised that in his new position he would carry out ‘institutional changes’ in the fields under his purview.
Beglaryan lost his father in the First Nagorno-Karabakh war when he was four years old. Two years later, in 1995, he accidentally triggered a mine while playing outside, which caused severe facial trauma and rendered him blind.
As a youth Beglaryan completed a special school for visually impaired children before going on to post-secondary education at Yerevan State University where he obtained a BA in Political Science and an MA in Conflict Studies. He also obtained an MA in Politics, Security and Integration at University College London.
In 2012, Beglaryan submitted a lawsuit against Armenia’s MFA for not permitting him to enter the Diplomatic School of Armenia because he was blind.
For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.