Baku, 4 October 2014: Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chairperson of the U.N. Development Group, completed her visit to Azerbaijan today. The purpose of the visit was to further deepen existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest between Azerbaijan and UNDP, and to explore new opportunities for partnership.
Helen Clark, on behalf of the U.N. Secretary General, attended the fourth annual International Humanitarian Forum held in Baku and gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the event. Stressing the importance of UNDP Azerbaijan’s ongoing development theme “Black Gold to Human Gold”, the Administrator acknowledged the country’s readiness to play an important role in South-South cooperation.“UNDP will be delighted to partner with the country in sharing its knowledge and expertise with others who are seeking solutions to challenges similar to those Azerbaijan has been tackling”, Helen Clark said in her speech.
As Azerbaijan actively participated in the U.N.’s post-2015 consultations to shape the future global development agenda, Helen Clark was invited to give a lecture on a new set of global development priorities at one of Azerbaijan’s most prestigious national universities, ADA University. When thanking all of the partners that had organized and hosted the national consultations, Helen Clark described how the outcomes of the post-2015 dialogues in Azerbaijan are consistent with “Azerbaijan 2020: the vision of the future”. “Azerbaijan is in an exciting period of its history, with big opportunities to share its knowledge and experience, and thereby support other countries to achieve their development goals. UNDP stands ready to work with Azerbaiijan in this direction”, Helen. Clark stated.
In a meeting with women politicians, Helen Clark discussed gender equality and the importance of women’s empowerment for sustainable and equitable development, as well as for sustained peace and security in the country and region. She offered some suggestions for continuing the country’s trends toward greater women participation and outlined what UNDP and U.N. in general could do to help.
During her visit to Azerbaijan, UNDP Administrator met with President Ilham Aliyev; the Ministers of Education, Youth and Sports, Communications and High Technologies, Emergency Situations, and Labour and Social Protection; the Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs; and several other government officials. In all meetings, Helen Clark emphasized the importance of policy choices that allow Azerbaijan to translate natural resource wealth into wealth for the people and achieve greater level of human development.
Helen Clark also visited the city of Sumgayit. She stopped by the SYSLAB job search center, which was established in the framework of a joint project between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, UNDP and the Norwegian Government. Here she praised the increasing focus the government puts on local employment services. She was also impressed with the ASAN center’s work on innovation, e-governance, and public services in Azerbaijan. Recognizing the commitment and efforts of the Government of Azerbaijan to establish effective and user-friendly public service delivery through the creation of the ASAN service centers, UNDP Administrator expressed the readiness of UNDP to support the Agency in its efforts to become a center of excellence and to share its experience with other countries.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP in Azerbaijan works to promote effective governance and sustainable development and is also active in the areas of gender equality, post-conflict rehabilitation and disaster-risk reduction to encourage South-South cooperation.