Armenia is Among 44 Countries Piloting MDG Acceleration Framework

05 Jun 2013

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Today, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia launched a report - “Youth Employment in Armenia” - developed within the framework of the “The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Acceleration Framework: Youth Employment in Armenia” initiative, which is led by UNDP and UNIDO.

This initiative is part of a wider UN effort to support countries in overcoming challenges and achieving off-track MDG targets by 2015. Through the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) methodology, Armenia has developed an Action Plan based on prioritized interventions, bottlenecks and solutions for MDG 1 target on productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

Unemployment and especially youth unemployment is a disturbing phenomenon across the globe, and Armenia is not an exception. In 2009, 2010 and 2011 youth unemployment rate in Armenia was 40.8%, 39%, and 42.9% respectively.

In comparison to the developed world, where the youth unemployment rate is usually twice as high as the average unemployment rate, the youth unemployment in Armenia is two and a half times higher.

Providing decent employment opportunities for youth is a key developmental issue for Armenia. The long-term competitiveness of the country depends on well-educated young people who are able to put their skills into productive use for the benefit of the economy and society. The high level of youth unemployment in the country negatively impacts the economic growth and development of private sector. In Armenia, MDG 1 target on productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people will not likely be reached, if no additional efforts are undertaken.

“I am confident that this publication not only will improve the understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting youth employment, but also will help implement coordinated actions in relevant areas, such as employment, education, business environment, and agricultural development, in the context of broader approaches to expand opportunities for decent work for all, especially for youth and women”, said Sophie Kemkhadze, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative a.i. in Armenia, in her welcoming remarks. “Young people’s voices should be heard, their creativity and enthusiasm should be supported, and their rights should be respected. UNDP’s role is to help them build a gateway to a better future and ensure that decent and creative jobs are available and accessible to all,” she concluded.

At the policy level, the United Nations in Armenia addresses youth employment through provision of advisory and technical support services. The MAF helped national stakeholders to apply a systematic approach to identify and prioritize bottlenecks that are causing the employment target to veer off-track. MAF analysis does not replace existing, nationally-owned planning processes and frameworks tackling youth employment issues. The recommendations emerging from the publication will help speed up the implementation of existing strategies and programmes by identifying feasible and high impact actions, and cross-sectoral partnerships.

The Report identifies priority bottlenecks, as well as high impact and feasible solutions to existing interventions for youth employment in Armenia, such as matching the supply and demand sides of the labour market, improving higher and vocational education for jobs in demand, addressing disparities in regional development and high unemployment levels among women and youth.

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UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP in Armenia has been established in March 1993 and supports the government to reach national development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.