Opening remarks by UNDP Resident Representative Narine Sahakyan at the Promotion of the National Operational Plan for Employment 2019

Feb 25, 2019

Dear Prime Minister,

Dear Vice Prime Minister,

Dear Minister of Labour and Social Policy

Dear Ministers

Dear Directors of the National Employment Agency and the Innovation Fund

Dear partners and friends

Dear Media representatives

·     Lack of decent employment opportunities are hindering the transition of the country to broad-based prosperity; while poor quality employment is contributing to inequalities. This contributes to the high levels of emigration of educated youth and is mirrored in pervasive informal employment.

·     Complex employment issues require complex and integrated solutions. Tackling them remains the number one priority for UNDP in supporting the country’s development.

·     With youth unemployment at almost 40 percent, tens of thousands of young people with energy and talent are leaving in search of work abroad, depriving many towns and villages of hope for a better future.

·     At the same time, however, many of the country's aspiring private businesses are crying out for skilled workers.

·     Addressing this painful paradox has been and is a key focus in our cooperation with the Government and the private sector as we work together on measures to help people develop the skills in demand on the market.

·     Over the past decade part of these efforts supported by UNDP have yielded a total of nearly 13,000 new jobs. Measures include promoting entrepreneurship and training opportunities to acquire the skills most needed in the private sector.

·     In line with a principle of the Sustainable Development Goals – to “leave no one behind“ – this year, we will continue to target our efforts at those who find it hardest to gain employment in the mainstream labor market, including persons with disabilities, the Roma community, women and young people.

·     Thanks to the Government's resolve and readiness to commit new resources to fight unemployment and open up the labor market, we have set even more ambitious targets for 2019.

·     We see the Prime Minister's presence today as a powerful symbol of this resolve, and we thank him for following through on his and his team’s commitment to give all citizens an equal opportunity to prosper.

·     As a development organization we will continue to help design and pilot new innovative approaches and to share our evidence-based solutions and expertise with the government. 

·     We particularly thank our partners in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and the Employment Service Agency for their excellent partnership.

·     Let me finish with the words of French writer and social scientist Simone de Beauvoir - “The present is not a potential past; it is the moment of choice and action”. And I would like to wish to all of us, at this really historic moment of country’s development, to make only right choices and take bold actions to bring happy and prosperous future one step closer to people of this beautiful country.

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