Global and regional challenges top the agenda of the UNDP Regional Director’s visit to Georgia

UNDP reaffirms support for Georgia’s sustainable, inclusive and climate-resilient development

April 9, 2022

Photo: Vladimir Valishvili/UNDP

UNDP reaffirms its assistance to Georgia at a time of global challenges brought on by the pandemic, climate challenge and, most recently, the war in Ukraine. Mirjana Špoljarić Egger, UN Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), UNDP Assistant Administrator, and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, wrapped up her three-day visit to Georgia with a strong message of support and cooperation.

“This is a decisive time for the entire region. My message to Georgia’s leadership and people is that the United Nations Development Programme is committed to supporting their country in key areas of national development,” Špoljarić Egger said.

On 7 and 8 April, ASG Špoljarić Egger met with Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and President Salome Zourabichvili. During her visit, Špoljarić Egger also met with Members of Parliament, ministers, civil society representatives, women entrepreneurs and representatives of embassies and international organizations.

While in the country, Špoljarić Egger checked on the progress of some of UNDP’s flagship initiatives in Georgia, including complex support for programmes to strengthen parliamentary democracy, achieve gender equality and build a climate-resilient society.

At the Parliament, together with Deputy Chairperson David Sergeenko ASG Špoljarić Egger joined over 100 schoolchildren from 50 public schools at a ‘My Parliamentary Adventure’ event. In partnership with the Parliament of Georgia and the European Union, UNDP assists schoolchildren to participate in a new educational initiative that provides an enjoyable way to learn about the roles, functions and history of the Georgian Parliament. The initiative also introduces tools and mechanisms that citizens can use to engage in parliamentary work.

Špoljarić Egger also visited Women Entrepreneurs’ Programme participants to discuss gender equality and business development. Drawing on the partnership between UNDP, the Government of Sweden and the Bank of Georgia, this initiative helps women build on proven business development models to identify their best prospects and devise effective strategies to realise their business goals.

Georgia’s efforts to achieve climate resilience and green development were a significant focus of the Regional Director’s visit. Together with Ambassador of Japan to Georgia Imamura Akira and Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Nino Tandilashvili, Špoljarić Egger launched a new initiative that will help Georgia sustainably manage its forests and promote green livelihoods. The programme is part of the UNDP Climate Promise initiative, which scales up UNDP support to turn national climate pledges into concrete action in at least 100 countries.

“Georgia’s ambitious climate agenda will lead the country to better protect its rich nature and unique biodiversity, create sustainable livelihoods, explore advanced solutions for green growth and reduce the risks associated with climate-related disasters,” Špoljarić Egger said. “UNDP fully supports this transformation and will assist Georgia’s strive for a climate-smart future.”

On 9 April, Špoljarić Egger travelled to the Kakheti region where UNDP, with funds from the Green Climate Fund and the governments of Georgia, Sweden and Switzerland, helps protect people and the economy from floods and other climate-induced disasters.

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