Baku, 6 November 2021 - UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti has completed his tenure as head of the UNDP Country Office in Azerbaijan and is now taking up his new assignment as UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt.
Pending the arrival of Mr Fracassetti’s successor, current UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms Charu Bist, will be serving as Resident Representative ad interim in Azerbaijan.
On leaving the office after five years Mr. Fracassetti said: “It has been a privilege to serve in Azerbaijan helping the country and its people to advance the 2030 Agenda and fulfil our shared commitment to leaving no one behind.”
UNDP was the first UN agency to open a country office in Azerbaijan in 1992 and has since invested, along with is donors, over USD 200 million in development programmes, working in close partnership with the government to implement these programmes.
Throughout this decades-long partnership, UNDP has dedicated its greatest efforts to helping the government reform the country’s public services and to increase accessibility and transparency in areas such as justice, customs and pension systems.
Under the direction of Mr. Fracassetti, and with the support of an increasing number of partners, UNDP has helped design and implement multiple innovative initiatives and services to help improve the lives of youth, women, and people with disabilities in particular. Results include the expansion of a network of Women Resource Centres throughout Azerbaijan providing social and economic support to thousands of women in rural areas.
UNDP programme has also expanded to include new areas such as vocational educations, agrobiodiversity, rural development, active labour market measures, health procurement, sustainable tourism, support to SMEs and CSOs and others in an effort to support the wider government strategic agenda of economic diversification.
UNDP Azerbaijan has also launched a range of new initiatives to ensure better environmental protection of the country’s biodiversity, including actions to prepare and combat climate change.
Mr. Fracassetti’s term in office coincided with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 conflict. Responding swiftly to these crises, UNDP has worked closely with the government and the UN family to address the impact of the pandemic in key sectors such as employment, healthcare, and education, while UNDP’s Recovery Programme is helping to address rehabilitation and reconstruction needs including humanitarian mine action in the aftermath of the conflict.
Mr. Fracassetti emphasised the importance of UNDP’s valuable partnership and mutual collaboration with the Government of Azerbaijan over the years, adding that UNDP remains committed to assisting the country in ensuring a sustainable future for all people in Azerbaijan in line with the 2030 Agenda, the UNDP Strategic Plan, and its Country Programme 2021-2025 in Azerbaijan, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
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