The Sustainable Development Goals in Armenia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Armenia:
17 August 2022
Montreal Protocol in the Context of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030
The "Montreal Protocol in the Context of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030" round table-discussion took place at the meeting hall of the UN Entities in Armenia on August 12, 2022, marking the International Youth Day. The event was organized by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia under the "Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building" project jointly implemented with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Ms. Gayane Gabrielyan, the Deputy Minister of the Environment of the RA, Ms. Anahit Simonyan, UNIDO representative in Armenia, and Ms. Denis Sumpf, Head of UN Resident Coordinator Office welcomed the students of «Refrigeration Economy» faculty of three regional colleges: Yerevan Regional State College No.2 named after N.Achemyan, Armavir Regional State College and Ararat Regional State College. The speakers presented the United Nations as an institute for international cooperation, harmonization of actions and problem solving, the objective and thematic areas of activities of UNIDO, sustainable development goals and the protection of the ozone layer in their context. Ms. Denise Sumpf ensured interactive contact with the students by concluding her speech with a live and interactive quiz. At the meeting a special reference was made to the role of young people as the driving force of society, urging them not to remain aloof from international steps aimed at achieving sustainable development goals. The representatives expressed hope that the professional guidance and technical support from their side and their sector partners are yielding the expected results and will continue to do so in future, and also wished the future professionals more confidence in their own abilities, creativity, independence and public thinking.
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01 August 2022
UNICEF and Gradarak establish a child-friendly center in Dvin with the support of the Government of Japan
UNICEF and Gradarak Educational and Cultural NGO have joined hands to establish a child-friendly center in Dvin settlement, Ararat marz with the support of the Government of Japan. The center will serve as community library with learning resources and games, and as safe spaces to provide children and adolescents with psychosocial support and child protection services, if necessary. “In any society, children are the most vulnerable group, especially this becomes more serious in times of crisis for the country, such as conflict and epidemic, therefore ensuring the safety and well-being of children is a priority for any country. We are pleased to see that this assistance has served for the improvement of healthcare system and education of vulnerable children and adolescents in five regions of Armenia. I would like to emphasize that the Government of Japan will continue to support the country in its path of achieving sustainable development,” said Mr. Masanori Fukushima, Ambassador of Japan to Armenia. This was made possible thanks to effective collaboration with Dvin municipality that provided the space for the centers and also invested 2,500,000 Armenian drams in the renovation works. After consolidation of communities in the Ararat marz, Dvin settlement is now part of Artashat consolidated community. The latter will cover the running costs of the center to ensure the operation of the community-based center, which will serve around 450 children, adolescents, and young people annually. Together with the Gradarak Educational and Cultural NGO, UNICEF renovated and furnished, as well as supplied the centers with a wide variety of books, utensils, development games, learning and recreation materials for various ages of children. “Every community should be equipped with a network of multidisciplinary services for children, adolescents and youth. UNICEF has worked in this direction during our previous five-year country programme, and we continued to do so amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of the humanitarian situation and needs around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will continue to support communities throughout Armenia within our current five-year country programme to improve the existing services for children and adolescents and provide them with opportunities to learn and develop in a safe environment,” said Ms Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Gradarak has already established over 5 community libraries across Armenia with the purpose of making learning accessible to all children and inspiring them to continue learning, reading and developing in their free time. Our partnership with UNICEF brought new meaning to this mission and we are pleased that these two centers will also operate as safe spaces, whenever there’s a need. We are also grateful to our partner architectural and design studios for their pro bono support in the conceptualization and design of both spaces,” noted Ms Arusyak Zeynalyan, Co-founder and CEO of Gradarak educational and cultural NGO. UNICEF supported the training of all seven Gradarak-type librarians/coordinators, including those established in the past, to capacitate them with skills necessary to safely work with children and adolescents and help them organize interactive activities, such as theater plays, drawing classes, movie screenings, book clubs, training and workshops of interest, as part of psychosocial support services, supported by the Government of Japan. As part of the larger support from the Government of Japan, starting from February 2021, UNICEF and partners reached over 35,000 children and adolescents and their families in Armavir, Kotayk, Ararat, Vayots Dzor and Syunik, including from Nagorno Karabakh with a variety of services. In particular, the educational and sanitary conditions of 15 schools were improved, safe spaces for children were established in 5 communities, more than 3,000 young people received a special course on basic life-saving skills, more than 100 teachers and 1,400 medical workers were trained, and 17 regional health facilities were provided with medical equipment and essential supplies.
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04 August 2022
A distinctive center of the whole grain wheat: UN World Food Programme’s new initiative
Yesterday, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) celebrated the opening of the training and resource center, which was created within the framework of the "Whole Grain Value Chain" project implemented in the region. The project integrates several components to succeed from awareness raising to educational campaigns: around 200 people improved their knowledge about wholegrain wheat and enhanced their skills in bread baking. In addition, 71 farmers received 35,400 kg of wholegrain wheat seeds and in 2021 harvested 425 tons of wheat from 120 hectares. The event was attended by WFP Deputy Director and OiC Nanna Skau, Deputy Minister of Economy Arman Khojoyan, Head of Multilateral Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs David Grigoryan and Deputy Governor of Tavush Narek Ghushchyan. In her speech, Ms. Skau mentioned that everyone, both locals and tourists, can visit the training center for not only to taste, but also to bake whole grain bread products themselves. "We are sure that this center will bring positive results and become a precedent for the establishment of other similar centers in Armenia," she added. The training and resource centre has been established to sustain the opportunities of creating new whole grain recipes and to be a place to teach baking of whole grain products and sell their products. The "Whole Grain Value Chain" project was launched back in October 2020 despite severe droughts in the area. WFP started to support and invest in the whole grain value chain and increase the presence of whole grain bread and bakery products in the market. The project also aims to improve dietary habits among people and contribute to food systems in Armenia. Within the framework of the project, investments were made in 5 bakeries to provide ovens, solar panels, training, and equipment, to bake whole grain bread and then ensure that children in the province could get whole grain bread as part of their school meals. About 7,100 schoolchildren from 75 schools in Tavush had the opportunity to replace white wheat bread with more nutritious and healthy whole grain bread.
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20 July 2022
UNHCR and Chamber of Advocates sign agreement to strengthen cooperation in improving accessibility and quality of free legal aid for asylum-seekers and refugees in Armenia
Recently, the UNHCR Representative in Armenia, Ms. Anna-Carin Öst, and the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia, Mr. Simon Babayan, signed a multi-year partnership agreement to kick off a project aimed at strengthening the access to and the quality of state-funded legal aid services for asylum-seekers and refugees in Armenia, by way of expert support and technical assistance. During the official signing ceremony, the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates, Mr. Simon Babayan, highlighted the importance of the strengthened partnership allowing to further improve the mechanisms for the protection of the rights of displaced persons. Stressing the importance of the legal aid in the context of ensuring quality asylum system, the UNHCR Representative, Ms. Anna-Carin Öst, expressed her appreciation to the Chairman and his team for prioritising provision of legal services to asylum-seekers and refugees in line with the international standards. The project, which will be implemented in the framework of the “Strengthening Migration Management Capacities to Support the Government Reform Agenda in line with CEPA” project co-funded by the European Union, will focus on strengthening the capacity of the Public Defender’s Office operating within the Chamber of Advocates, raising the awareness of asylum-seekers on state-funded legal aid services, and improving referrals and coordination between the national stakeholders concerned.
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15 July 2022
Armenia launches national consultation on transforming education
Republic of Armenia Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, UN Armenia and UNICEF held the inaugural national consultation ahead of the Transforming Education Summit in September. The objective is to ensure a participatory and comprehensive consultative process to uncover the current challenges in education and potential solutions. The event was attended by Mr Vahram Dumanyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, Ms Lila Pieters Yahia, acting UN Armenia Resident Coordinator, Ms Silvia Mestroni, acting UNICEF Representative, Mr Artur Martirosyan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, as well as representatives of international organizations, diplomatic corps, youth and civil society organisations, private sector, teachers and education experts. Mr Dumanyan welcomed participants and noted that Armenia is part of the global discussion on transforming education. Ahead of the Summit in September in New York, the line of national consultations will help Armenia in the process of current education reforms and long-term strategic planning on development of education. It will also help Armenia crystalize the scope of pledges for the transforming education agenda. “Our government is determined to continue an active dialogue with the main stakeholders, including with the youth, through a participatory democratic process. Education is a priority area for us, and, at present, we lead reforms across all levels of education that include a number of legislative changes, large scale investment and development programmes that focus on enhancing inclusion, access and quality. One thing is evident – the development of education requires everyone’s active engagement and cooperation at national and international levels. From that perspective, our consultation today is very important,” stated Minister Dumanyan. “It’s extremely important to highlight Armenia's commitment and leadership towards preparing its participation for the Transforming Education Summit taking place after the UN General Assembly session. Transformed education systems are one of the keys to unlocking the broader breakthroughs to secure a better future for all, through the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals,” noted Lila Pieters Yahia, acting UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia. “The world is in the depths of a learning crisis, which existed before COVID and it was aggravated by the pandemic. It affects vulnerable children the most and is a major driver of intergenerational poverty and inequality. So we must act urgently to bring every child back to the classroom, have systems in place to assess their level of learning and wellbeing and help them catch up on lost learning,” noted Silvia Mestroni, Acting UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Together with UN Armenia, UNICEF will organize a number of youth consultations ahead of the Summit. Young people have the right to express their opinion on this matter and their opinion matters.” Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Mr Artur Martirosyan presented the main issues and goals that Armenia’s ‘Development of education until 2030’ state programme will address. He emphasized that the majority of issues being discussed at global level on transforming education are already part of the national strategy on education in Armenia, as well as other documents. Mr Martirosyan placed particular importance on issues of increasing financing for education, digitalization of education, enhancing skills in parallel to knowledge, linkages with the labor market, and ensuring accessibility of education services. “This meeting is important in two aspects. First, scoping out the range of pledges that Armenia can take at the Transforming Education Summit in New York, and second, as another platform that ensures participation and democratic governance in the field of education and related state policy,” noted Mr Martirosyan. “The Armenian government is getting ready to review and approve the plan of action contingent to the Education Strategy, which will also entail consultations with stakeholders.” The Deputy Minister called on participants to be active in outlining suggestions that the Ministry can consider. Participants of the national consultation were invited to take part in breakdown group discussions on inclusion, fair, safe and healthy schools, teaching, learning, life, labor and sustainable development skills, digital education and transformation, as well as on financing of education. The results of the national consultations will be used by the government to prepare for the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September in New York within the scope of the UN General Assembly. Prior to the national consultations, Deputy Minister Martirosyan attended the Pre-Summit on June 28-29.
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