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The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Cihan Sultanoğlu, made an official visit to the country last week. During the three days she was here, Sultanoğlu participated in and supported the launch of several important events supported by UNDP and met with numerous representatives of national and local government.
Wine lovers will soon be able to enjoy a greatly enhanced experience when touring the vineyards and cellars of the Vardar region. A new and much-expanded route will offer them the chance to visit as many as 48 wineries, as well as plenty of opportunities to tour the region’s museums and galleries. And with the help of a new wine-route map detailing local sites of interest, hotels and restaurants, they should also stand a much greater chance of not getting lost amongst the vineyards!
Airports have a key role to play in any disaster, since they receive and process large volumes of relief supplies. If they are properly prepared, they can save countless lives; if not, they can be the source of bottlenecks that cause costly delays in relief and recovery. To help prevent such situations, UNDP is pleased to have worked with DHL to develop the “Get Airports Ready for Disaster” program, which pairs DHL’s expertise in aviation and logistics with UNDP’s knowledge of development and disasters.
The GARD concept has already been successfully implemented in almost 30 airports since 2005, including airports in Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Panama, El Salvador and Peru. The GARD trainers, DHL logistics experts who are providing their services free of charge, have been working in close cooperation with the United Nations.
Having a job can be an escape route from poverty, whereas lacking one is often a direct route to a life of multiple deprivations. Jobs are not just about money. Work is a source of income, for sure, but also, crucially, a source of dignity. That is why employment is at the heart of the human development agenda.
Policymakers, experts and development practitioners will discuss how to solve the region’s employment crisis and promote job-rich growth.
The simple truth is that without setting realistic targets and making regular, credible measurements, it is just not possible to demonstrate progress in our work. No matter how much money we invest, no matter how creative our programming … we have no way prove our impact.
The UNDP team were invited to be mentors at the Jacobs Startup Competition on account of their long years of experience in coaching and mentoring small and medium-sized businesses with the Self-Employment Programme. The event will give them the opportunity to apply their experience with start-ups in an international setting.
This week marks the start of the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in Sendai in Japan. The Sendai conference will see the launch of a new global Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction—considered by experts to be the first of the major ‘Post-2015’ processes.
Improving the country’s track record is vital not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the smart thing. Study after study shows a direct correlation between gender equality and GDP growth, improved economic competitiveness and higher levels of well-being. The United Nations agencies in the country remain fully committed to this cause. Gender equality is one of the five key priorities we have set for our work over the next five years. We look forward to supporting the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and other partners in helping to end violence against women, overcome discrimination, dismantle barriers to employment and political leadership, and introduce a gender perspective into policy-making and budget-setting.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was pioneering in recognizing that women’s participation was necessary to achieve genuine peace and security, but over the past two decades only 9% of the negotiators participating in peace talks were women. And, while more countries have enacted laws to protect women from violence, sexual violence and gender-based violence continues to plague every continent and every country. In Europe, one in three women will fall victim in her lifetime, and prevalence rates soar to even more horrific levels during war and conflict.
Young people here and all across the Balkans now face a set of challenges that weigh on them disproportionately as a generation. Nearly half of all young people are unemployed, a rate almost double that for the general population; and the average transition from school to a decent job, according to recent ILO research, drags on as long as six years. These conditions complicate the important life choices that young people face everywhere about where to settle, how to secure a livelihood, and when to start a family. Any new strategy for youth will need to reflect these concerns and map out credible solutions.
Preparations are underway for the development of a new national Youth Strategy for 2016-2025, and the process for developing the strategy is taking youth inclusion and participation to a new level. Young people from across the country will be working together with UNDP and the Agency of Youth and Sport at every stage in the preparation of the Strategy.
This is an ideal time for reflection and stock-taking of the progress made in 2014 and the tasks still ahead in achieving our shared goals of creating efficient and responsive institutions at the municipal and regional level.
Two winners will be selected from all the submitted proposals, which will be reviewed by an expert panel. Each of the winners will be awarded 10,000 USD. Of this sum, 1,000 USD will be awarded in the form of cash, while 9,000 USD will be granted for the purpose of developing the idea into a prototype. This support will include technological support, mentoring, and support with networking to identify potential partners that might be interested in either scaling-up or using the proposed solution.
The new SME center will provide support that will help the region’s small businesses to flourish even more, through services that will include databases of investment locations, maps of free industrial zones, information on accessing EU funds, and e-guides for investors.
On #GivingTuesday, UNDP staff will be spending their day with elderly people living alone in Struga, helping them with their cooking, shopping and other everyday activities, while also making donations of food, clothes and blankets based on the needs of the poorest people in the municipality.
Violence against women is at once the world’s most widespread and the least acknowledged human rights violation. Globally, one in three women will be a victim of physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, and in almost every case the perpetrator will be her spouse, her partner or her boyfriend.
The campaign was officially launched today at the Vasil Antevski Dren High School by UN Resident Coordinator Louisa Vinton, together with the Minister of Interior, Gordana Jankulovska, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Ibrahim Ibrahimi, and the Mayor of Kisela Voda, Biljana Belicanec- Aleksic. With this launch, the country joins the global campaign spearheaded by the UN to raise awareness of gender-based violence as a violation of basic human rights.
The rehabilitation of the Markovi Kuli stormwater channel in Prilep will result in protection from flooding and better environmental and living conditions for the population of Varos and Trizla. They will feel safer and more prepared to meet the challenge of torrential summer rainfalls and hailstorms.