Yerevan, 19 March 2019 – During her first official visit to Armenia, UNDP’s Regional Director for Europe and CIS Mirjana Spoljaric Egger discussed with her counterparts the country’s development following last year’s parliamentary elections.
In her meetings with government, civil society, women leaders, and international development partners, Ms. Spoljaric Egger noted Armenia’s immense potential at this time of unprecedented change. She discussed UNDP’s support for the implementation of the country’s reform agenda, with a focus on innovation in public services and financing, women and youth empowerment and climate change.
The visit also marked the launch of Travelinsights platform - an artificial intelligence tool to boost the country’s tourism sector. The platform is developed by the National SDG Innovation Lab. During her welcoming speech at a Hackathon event on green urban solutions, the UNDP Regional Director stressed that “innovation and new ways of doing development work can have a transformative impact - making economy greener, generating income and creating new jobs.”
Ms. Spoljaric Egger attended the “Think Equal conversations,” which brought together women leaders from the parliament, national and local governments and business sector. Among topics discussed were personal stories and insights on women’s role in Armenian society, as well as perspectives for further engagement of women in decision-making processes. The Regional Director said: “In parallel to activism for women’s rights, we should work to have enabling factors in place for women’s leadership in public roles.”
Armenia saw 5 percent growth last year, but the country’s challenge is to make sure that growth benefits everyone and is long-lasting. Armenia still has many disparities, out-migration, and both citizens and the government have been exploring ways to increase inclusion and participation of people from across society.
The Regional Director also attended an equipment handover event at the Khosrov Forest State Reserve, where UNDP, with financial support from the Russian Federation, is supporting the Ministries of Nature Protection and Emergency Situations to protect forest ecosystems and its rich biodiversity.