UNDP Administrator emphasizes citizen engagement in development

Oct 1, 2014

Helen Clark receives a warm welcome in Bagratashen community

Yerevan, 01 October 2014 - On 28-30 September Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP and Chair of the UN Development Group came to Armenia on her first visit to the country.

In discussions with government, civil society, women leaders, and international development partners, Clark emphasized the principle of citizen engagement in designing development assistance– ““UNDP is engaging with Armenia’s people and government to build development solutions to the challenges of today and the future. Armenians are very pragmatic and highly capable people. During my short visit I have been very impressed with the level of professionalism and talent here. I am also encouraged by the emerging women’s leadership, including at the local level”.  Helen Clark was also impressed with the work on innovation, promoting the concept of ‘citizen expert’ to stimulate people’s participation in governance and in designing development solutions and public services that deliver results. UNDP creates frequent opportunities for citizens to co-create development solutions and to scale up their ideas within Government and Civil Society.

Clark praised Armenia’s active involvement in the UN discussions about new goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. She referred to The Future We Want - the global conversation on about the world we want to live in 20 years from now. “Five million people around the world participated in the dialogue and voiced their priorities.  They are asking for jobs, better education and health care, and honest and effective governance.”

In a discussion with women leaders from Armenia’s regions, Helen Clark shared her personal experience and insights, and expressed her strong support for women empowerment, “It takes time and a lot of hard work for women to get to the top. Being determined and confident in one’s abilities is essential. Creating networks of women in leadership positions to share experiences and support each other is also extremely important.”  Helen Clark also praised the results of Women in Local Democracy Project – a joint UNDP-EU initiative.

Commenting on strategic priorities for UNDP in Armenia, Helen Clark emphasized UNDP’s role as a neutral partner in addressing complex issues, including human rights, anti-corruption, and equal opportunities for men and women. She also offered UNDP’s continuous support for improved municipal governance and local development.  She stressed the role of young people and the need to tackle high levels of youth unemployment.  Focusing on sustainable development principles, she offered UNDP support for scaling up best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

Helen Clark met with President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan, and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, as well as with civil society, women leaders, and international development partners. She also visited Bagratashen community, Tavush region, where she saw a dried fruit collection center which was established by local authorities, business and community-based organizations, with the support of UNDP.

During her visit Helen Clark was accompanied by UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director for Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, Cihan Sultanoğlu, and other senior UNDP officials.


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 more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993, and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Millennium Development Goals. 

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