UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (RBEC) Reiterates Support to Armenia’s Development Priorities

May 10, 2024


Yerevan, 10 May 2024 - On 5-8 May, Ivana Živković, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (RBEC), came to Armenia on her first visit to the country. 

In her discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan, Deputy Foreign Minister Mnatsakan Safaryan, other  government officials, diplomatic corps and development partners, UN Country Team, civil society, women and youth, Ivana Živković emphasized UNDP’s role as a strategic partner of the Government of Armenia in addressing complex development challenges for the benefit of people of Armenia, with focus on refugee crisis response, sustainable development, women and youth empowerment. She also offered UNDP’s continuous support in providing durable and innovative solutions in social protection, public services, development financing, green economy, energy efficiency, and best practices in solving climate change issues.

“Armenia faces complex challenges on its development trajectory, further compounded by multiple crises. UNDP works together with the Government of Armenia, UN agencies, international development community and civil society organizations to build resilience of refugees and host communities.  Within these challenges also lies an opportunity to create a sustainable future. By working together at the international, national, and local levels, we can unlock the incredible potential of sustainable development where humanity and nature thrive in harmony,” said Ivana Živković.

In the National Assembly of Armenia, together with the President of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan, the UNDP Assistant Administrator launched the second phase of the cooperation to promote parliamentary democracy in Armenia and make the legislative body more responsive, transparent and effective. The project is funded by the Governments of Sweden and Norway, along with the National Assembly of Armenia.

Key highlights from the visits to UNDP project sites 

Ivana Živković also visited UNDP project sites in Gegharkunik, Tavush, Ararat, Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions.

In Sevan, Gegharkunik region, she got acquainted with the work of the automatic weather station modernized with funding from the Government of Japan, one, among the 11 modernized stations in Gegharkunik, Tavush, and Syunik regions, increasing the weather monitoring and observation accuracy, and country wide coverage up to 80 percent. UNDP Assistant Administrator also observed the rich biodiversity of the Sevan National Park and learned about the park management plan - a tool for more efficient management and conservation of Lake Sevan natural resources and biodiversity as part of UNDP’s cooperation with EU4Sevan project.

In Dilijan, Tavush region, Ms. Živković visited energy efficient buildings retrofitted with funding from the Green Climate Fund. So far, 152 residential and 52 public buildings were retrofitted across Armenia, including 45 kindergartens and schools, decreasing energy consumption from 40 to 60 percent and positively impacting the well-being of more than 46,000 residents, with over 50 percent being women and girls. 

In Masis community, Ararat region, UNDP Assistant Administrator witnessed the successful construction of 18 modern apartments within the premises of a former sports school to accommodate over 70 refugees, funded by UNDP and the UN Global Emergency Response Fund. These newly developed units are in line with contemporary standards of living, reflecting a commendable effort in providing comfortable housing solutions to refugees. “During my meetings with refugees I gained a deeper understanding of the human cost of displacement and discussed with them how UNDP can further contribute to building their resilience and creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for them,” said Ivana Živković.

In Areni, Vayots Dzor region, Ivana Živković saw UNDP’s innovative, extra-curricular bus for the community youth, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

In Goris, Syunik region, UNDP Assistant Administrator met with regional and local leadership, refugees, who directly benefit from UNDP projects on the ground and reiterated UNDP’s full support to enhance community resilience and to integrate refugees into the Armenian society. 

Ivana Živković was delighted to see the enthusiasm of members of the Women and Youth Advisory Council adjunct to head of Tegh community, funded by the SDC, who promote local democracy, address refugee issues and make their voice heard in all community affairs. In Tegh, Ms. Živković also participated in the opening of a simple hideout and was briefed on the results of the EU-funded explosive ordnance and mine risk education campaigns. 

In Goris and Verishen, UNDP Assistant Administrator also got acquainted on the ground with the projects implemented within the framework of the EU4Dialogue initiative and talked with the beneficiaries about the self-employment and income generation opportunities that UNDP provides for refugees and host communities.