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Official News

Friday, 16 December 2011

Armenia Getting Ready For 2012 Rio +20 World Summit





Chaired by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, the government held an enlarged sitting of the National Council for Sustainable Development.

Greeting the participants, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said: "We are continuing the process, which aims to ensure Armenis’s adequate participation in the Rio de Janeiro’s Rio +20 World Summit on sustainable development to be held in June 2012.

It is obvious that the Republic of Armenia as an newly independent State faced specific sustainable development harmonization-related problems. Regardless the obstacles, the 2000s saw intensified implementation of the principles of sustainable development in Armenia.

Quite recently, UN agencies described Armenia as a country with an upward trend of sustainable development, which is extremely important to us since it is the result of several key programs implemented for over a decade.

Today you will be introduced to the UN Development Program-published Annual Human Development Report, which describes the global challenges. In 2011, it was released, entitled “Sustainable development and equality of opportunity and a better future for all."

It touches on issues of sustainable development, ensuring equal opportunities, and represents the human development index, which is a generalized index reflecting the level of welfare. It shows that despite the progress of past 25-30 years, the income gap between the rich and the poor has deepened in developing and developed countries.

Here, it should be stated that the Armenia’s sustainable development index, which stood at 0.716 in 2011, proved almost unchanged in the United Nations’ Human Development Report. We are the 86th among 187 countries. Despite the economic crisis of 2009, we did not give up our standing first of all owing to the fact that the Armenian government managed to meet its social commitments in full. Moreover, during the crisis of 2009, we even have increased social benefits and pensions.

Currently, a global process of preparations for Rio +20 World Summit is launched, which aims to appreciate the work done over the past few years, analyze the existing problems and their causes, find solutions and a strategy for development.

Either our country needs to review the path covered since 1992 along with the achievements and shortcomings. The outcome will be presented at the Rio +20 as a final report".

The Prime Minister said that in order to ensure adequate participation of our country in this summit a national coordinating committee is up headed by the Ministers of Nature Protection and Foreign Affairs, as well as task forces.

Tigran Sargsyan advised that the Commission has approved the a program of activities for Armenia’s participation in the World Summit and is undertaking preparatory work towards drawing up an evaluation report entitled “Progress and Problems of Sustainable Development in Armenia” with the assistance of the United Nations Environmental Program

The Council went on to discuss the issues on the agenda of the meeting. Board Member, UNDP Resident Coordinator Dafina Gercheva and Europe and CIS Office expert Michael Peleah presented a report on global human development in 2012, entitled “Sustainable development and equal opportunities.” They noted that the report addresses the challenges of sustainable development and equal opportunities, shows that despite the recorded over the past 20-30 years progress and the global difference in the standards of living continues to grow.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ashot Hovakimian presented details of the ongoing preparations to the UN World Summit. He spoke of the national coordinating committee and, in particular, talked about the steps taken by the thematic working groups in the committee and their results.

Another agenda item was dedicated to the discussion of “Progress and challenges for sustainable development in Armenia” evaluation report. Armenia’s National Council on Sustainable Development Secretary, Head of the Association for Sustainable Human Development Karine Danielyan talked about the principles and approaches highlighted in the report. In this context, she touched upon the promotion of sustainable development and activities aimed at countering possible challenges, issues at the national and local levels, achievements and existing problems of cooperation between state and civil society

During the exchange of opinions that followed, the representatives of environmental NGOs came up with their own comments and recommendations on the agenda items.
 

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