Armenia and the United Nations
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|United Nations membership|
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politics and government of
The Republic of Armenia was admitted into the United Nations on March 2, 1992. Since December 1992 when UN opened its first office in Yerevan, Armenia signed and ratified many international treaties. There are fifteen specialized agencies, programs and funds in the UN Country Team under the supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator. Besides, the World Bank (WB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have offices in the country. The focus is drawn to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) stipulated by the Millennium Declaration adopted during the Millennium Summit in 2000. The MDGs have simulated never before practiced actions to meet the needs of the world's poorest. As the MDG achievement date of December 2015 draws closer a new set of global sustainable development goals is consulted worldwide, to be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Armenia was included in the initial group of 50 countries to conduct national consultations on the global Post-2015 development agenda.
- 1 UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)
- 2 Programs of the UN in Armenia
- 2.1 Food and Agriculture Organization
- 2.2 International Labor Organization
- 2.3 Development Program
- 2.4 United Nations Children's Fund in Armenia
- 2.4.1 Armenia’s legislation about the protection of children’s rights
- 2.4.2 UNICEF’s work in Armenia and strategies
- 2.4.3 Implementations of Laws
- 2.4.4 Key statistics
- 2.4.5 Health & Nutrition
- 2.4.6 Education
- 2.4.7 Child Protection
- 2.4.8 Adolescent's Health & Development
- 3 See also
- 4 External links
UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)
The United Nations system guides Armenia to attain its national development priorities and face the human rights challenges. Armenia’s UNDAF represents the cooperation between the UN system and the Government of Armenia. It is authorized to set the framework for all UN Agencies and follow the development of their projects Armenia. The four major priorities for cooperation in 2010-2015 are the following:
- By providing economic opportunities for the ones in need and reducing inequality promote inclusive and sustainable growth.
- By expanding society's participation, improving accountability and spreading institutional and capacity development to stabilize Democratic governance.
- To improve Access and quality of social services for vulnerable groups.
- The reduction of the Environment and disaster risk is integrated into national and local development frameworks.
The focus is drawn to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) stipulated by the Millennium Declaration adopted during the Millennium Summit in 2000. The MDGs have simulated never before practiced actions to meet the needs of the world's poorest. As the MDG achievement date of December 2015 draws closer a new set of global sustainable development goals is consulted worldwide, to be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Armenia was included in the initial group of 50 countries to conduct national consultations on the global Post-2015 development agenda.
Programs of the UN in Armenia
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- International Labour Organization
- International Organization for Migration
- Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- UN Program on HIV/AIDS
- United Nations Development Program
- United Nations Population Fund
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- United Nations Children's Fund
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations mission is to stop the starvation in the world. They have to insure whether people around the world have access to healthy meal for daily bases. This is the main goal of FAO’s performance.
FAO in Armenia
Since 1993, Armenia is a member of FAO. The office in Yerevan was built in 2004. From the beginning of corporation, Armenia has been receiving by FAO assistance in giving live(realizing) to many different elaboration and emergency projects aligned to develop agricultural efficiency and improving the safety of country’s food. During 2012-2015, the Government of Armenia and FAQ decided to work together in the following six areas:
- livelihoods and competitiveness for small-scale farmers
- animal health and production
- crop production and plant protection
- fisheries and aquaculture development
- agricultural statistics
For future developments in this field program, the following operational agreements took place:
- create more efficient collaboration with major progress under the guidance of the UN Resident Coordination, in the concern of a United Nations method which "delivers as one"
- creating mutually beneficial relations with government institutions with the help of capacity-building actions and teaching
- dynamically investigating occasions to create platform for bilateral and multilateral partnership-as an example development of pipeline projects to gain new donors.
International Labor Organization
The first specialized UN agency is The International Labor Organization (ILO) which was created in 1919 and became specialized in year 1946. This agency was opened in order to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. The staff of The International Labor Organization is in Switzerland. The key principles for The International Labor Organization are
- To promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work
- To create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment
- To enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all
- To strengthen tripartism and social dialogue
These principles can be achieved by
- Formulation of international policies and programs to promote basic human rights, improve working and living conditions, and enhance employment opportunities
- Creation of international labor standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations; backed by a unique system to supervise their application
- An extensive program of international technical cooperation
- Training, education, research, and publishing activities to help advance all of these efforts
The International Labor Organization’s functions in Armenia
The functions of ILO in Armenia are coordinating by the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which are supported by the ILO National Coordinator in Yerevan. Co-operation between the Republic of Armenia and the ILO are based on the constituent of the International Labor Organization, which are government, employers’ and workers’ organizations. One of the most important problems for Armenia is the development of employment policies. So, the government of the Republic of Armenia decides to begin the improvement of the employment policy by giving preference to active labor market policy programs instead of passive programs. The ILO helps Armenia to create and improve incentives for active labor market by training and educating the employments. Another crucial issue for Armenia is to strengthen tripartism and social dialogue. The ILO constituents - Ministry of Labor and Social Issues, the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia (RUEA) and the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia take into account the social dialogue, consultations and negotiations to find agreement on relevant national policies. The ILO helps RUEA by providing specialized services for its members and support socio-economic policy in the framework of national tripartite cooperation. The government of Armenia has recently accepted the renewed policy system for public wages. The ILO supports Armenia by providing comprehensive and detailed analysis of the current public pay practice by examining the wage levels and structures.
The UNDP has the widest mandate. Its aim is to solve the sustainable development issues across the world. The program connects with people no matter what role they play in the society and helps build nations that can overcome crisis as well as maintain the kind of growth that ensures better living standards for everyone. In Armenia it provides equal opportunities and stately life for implementing innovative solutions for Armenia's development challenges. In 1993, right after The Country Office was founded, the cooperation with Armenian Government and the program began. In each other’s assistance they made efforts to promote human development and the well-being of the nation. If there is the necessity the support towards collaboration and partnerships across governmental and non-governmental actors becomes their common goal. By ensuring the development of an efficient and responsive administration system, UNDP in Armenia draws on global and local expertise to build and attain innovative developmental projects and service delivery. These projects reach all parts of the society, from local governments and communities to core government ministries. The total volume of UNDP program to date is over USD 105 million that includes UNDP main resources, as well as government and donor contributions. The Armenian Government’s contributions total thirty nine million USD in a ten-year period (2004–2014). UNDP’s country program fully meets the national priorities and development needs focusing on three areas:
- Poverty Reduction
- Democratic Governance
- Environment & Energy
Supporting the national institutions in developing and implementing the Regional Development Strategy, the Poverty Reduction program is meant to increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses, ensure efficient and sustainable agriculture, as well as nurture the urban fabric of Yerevan. In the field of Democratic Governance, UNDP supports Armenia in meeting its international obligations in human rights, engages women in decision-making at the local level, supports national stakeholders in developing a new Anti-Corruption strategy, as well as incorporates new, innovative approaches such as co-design, crowd-sourcing and behavioral insights into UNDP’s programs. To facilitate trade and transit, Modernization of the border management sector and strengthening of capacities of border management agencies, with an emphasis on enhanced accountability, transparency and integrity, is another area of the Governance work. Creation of a regulatory framework to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, reductions to the local impact of climate change, promotion of green urban development and sustainable land management, and implementation of a national disaster risk reduction strategy are key areas of work in Environment & Energy program.
United Nations Children's Fund in Armenia
Armenia joined United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 1994 and since then is actively collaborating with the organization. The essence of work completed by the UNICEF in Armenia varies year by year. Currently, UNICEF has been entirely engaged in the improvements program, supporting Armenian Government in realization of structural and systematic changes. Armenia has improved the conditions for children living in the country by accepting corresponding laws and regulations concerning the health, education and welfare of children.
Armenia’s legislation about the protection of children’s rights
Armenia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1992 and accepted the law on Children in 1996. During the last decade, Armenia has signed under other significant international documents as well, some of which are two CRC Optional Protocols on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (2005), the ILO 182nd Convention relating to Child Labor (2005), the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption (2006). Additionally, Armenia decided to amend basic native laws such as Family Code, Labor Code and Criminal Code, in order to strengthen the protection of children from exploitation, abuse and trafficking. In 2003 the Government of Armenia developed and endorsed a National Plan of Action for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NPA) for 2004-2015 by actualizing the guaranty made at the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children in 2002. The NPA’s role was crucial in the development of an integrated long-term governmental program to address the rights and meet the needs of children in this country. The plan, closely linked to Armenia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy paper, lays a solid foundation for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are consistent to meeting the rights of children.
UNICEF’s work in Armenia and strategies
In Armenia UNICEF is assisting the Government to develop the protection of rights of all children, by concentrating on more vulnerable ones. The framework of the improvements made by the organization includes young child and adolescent health and development, primary education, and child protection, with an emphasis on institutional support, social policy analysis, and communication for progress that results in reforms in values, attitudes and perceptions, and designs an environment for proper implementation of children’s rights. One of the goals of the organization is to provide children with accessible health services by ensuring assistance to development of national policies and implementation of strategic programs, UNICEF contributes Government to reduce child mortality in the country.
UNICEF encourages programs that ensure children's right to education and participation in matters affecting them. UNICEF actively participates in the process of reforming the education system of the country and promotes the establishment of inclusive and child-friendly schools so that no child is left out of education.
United Nations Children's Fund works to create a safe environment for all children by evolving till 2015, a comprehensive legal and policy framework that protects children in areas such as children in orphanages and special schools, juvenile justice, child labor, violence against children, child abuse and exploitation, gender-based violence, cases of unregistered children, and disabilities.
United Nations Children's Fund also aims at setting up a "continuum of services" - a system where various service providers act in a coordinated way to address problems faced by a child and to deliver the full range of social protection services to him or her.
The fund assists the Government of Armenia in receiving thorough information on the situation of children and their families. By commissioning surveys and evaluations as well as introducing new ways of data generation and presentation, United Nations Children's Fund helps the Government to make decisions and develop policies and strategies that are based on evidence.
In social policies and budgeting, UNICEF assess how social protection and expenditures in social sectors help in overcoming child poverty.
United Nations Children's Fund advocates for an equity approach in achieving the MDGs, which means focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable children. UNICEF’s main areas of work include health and nutrition, education, protection of child rights and promotion of adolescents’ health and development.
Health and Nutrition for All Children
In health and nutrition UNICEF is working with the Government to ensure that all children in Armenia have access to quality primary health care services, receive timely vaccinations and proper nutrition. Since establishment of its presence in Armenia UNICEF has been the major international organization providing vaccines to Armenia. In addition, to ensure sustainability of immunization and efficient implementation of the National Immunization Plan, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health in organizing regular trainings for health professionals and carries out awareness campaigns among families and care-givers. UNICEF and the Government of Armenia have also been working hand-in hand to ensure that newborns in Armenia are breastfed exclusively for a minimum of 6 months. In 1995 UNICEF launched a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and in 2004 a Baby Friendly Policlinic Initiative. A maternity facility or a policlinic can be designated "baby-friendly" when it does not accept free or low-cost breast milk substitutes, feeding bottles or teats, and has implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding. UNICEF also successfully tackles the problem of iodine deficiency in Armenia through universal salt iodization. Iodine deficiency is the world’s leading cause of preventable mental retardation among children. Salt iodization is the most effective and sustainable way to prevent iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) because salt is widely consumed and iodization is safe and inexpensive.
Education for All Children
In Education UNICEF is assisting the Government to ensure that all children in Armenia go to school prepared and receive a quality primary school education. UNICEF supports and actively participates in the process of reforming the education system of the country and assists in development and introduction of legal and administrative frameworks to backup these reforms. The Government of Armenia extensively uses UNICEF’s expertise in implementation of transition to 12-year education system. The introduction of Life Skills is one of several education reform initiatives that have been undertaken in Armenia since 1995. UNICEF-supported Life Skills is a shift from a teacher-centered, knowledge-driven process of schooling to one where knowledge, skills and values are seen as interrelated and where students are considered as vital part of a learning process. About 80 per cent of pre-school age children are not able to attend kindergartens or any other type of pre-school facility. High fees, lack of learning materials as well as qualified staff at kindergartens are among reasons cited by parents. In order for young boys and girls to go to school prepared, UNICEF assists to set up centers for parents and children in various communities, where parents learn how children develop, what needs they have at different stages of their life and how to ensure early learning for children. According to official statistics, there are over 8,000 children with disabilities living in Armenia, many of whom have been isolated from society and are excluded from mainstream education. UNICEF advocates for full access of children with disabilities to education through promoting the establishment of inclusive and child-friendly schools. To encourage schoolchildren to participate actively in school governance and decision making process UNICEF supported the Ministry of Education and Science to develop guidelines to allow student’s councils to participate in school management. UNICEF also devised the conceptual standards for child-friendly schools to ensure a safe and enabling school environment for all children.
Protection for All Children
In Child Protection, the organization is working with the Government, international and non-governmental organizations and media to ensure that all children are able to enjoy all range of rights accorded to them. For children deprived of parental care UNICEF is trying to seek solutions that would allow them to grow in a family environment. UNICEF has been actively advocating for increased support to vulnerable families that will allow children placed in orphanages to return to their families and will also prevent future placement of children in public care institutions. UNICEF has also successfully introduced foster care concept in Armenia, whereby children are placed with foster parents under conditions when they either have no family or cannot return to their own family. To prevent placement of children in public residential care institutions at community level, UNICEF supported local NGOs in establishment of community-based care centers for children at-risk, children with special needs and children from vulnerable families. UNICEF was one of the first organizations to initiate studies into the phenomenon of trafficking in women and children from Armenia. In 2003, UNICEF published a survey into child abuse and neglect. The survey revealed cases of violence and abuse against children in communities, families and institutions. UNICEF has been working hard to disseminate information to parents and children and provide training to teachers, police, social workers, nurses and doctors for them to be able to prevent and respond to cases of violence against children. By supporting revision of the juvenile justice system, UNICEF has also promoted positive legislative changes including the introduction of alternative systems such as probation.
Youth Can Make Difference
Working for young people and promoting their participation in various activities and projects is one of the priorities of UNISEF. Given that Armenia is part of the region where HIV/AIDS is spreading rapidly, UNICEF is working to educate young people on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and healthy lifestyles. UNICEF has been organizing summer camps, trainings and communication campaigns with the involvement of young people. In 2004 UNICEF assisted the Government of Armenia in development of a Country Specific Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS Prevention among Most at-Risk Adolescents (MARA) and Especially Vulnerable Young People (EVYP) and a National Behavior Change Communication Strategy for HIV/AIDS Prevention among MARA and EVYP for 2007-2011 which are incorporated into the National Program on the Response to HIV Epidemic for 2007-2011 endorsed in March 2007. UNICEF also promotes introduction of Life Skills-based education in upper grades of secondary schools with particular focus on HIV/AIDS and healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle curriculum was developed and piloted in upper grades of 30 schools with relevant trainings and guidelines provided to teachers of those schools.
UNICEF facilitates the introduction of youth-friendly health services into the health system through advocacy, policy development, and capacity building of health care providers and local authorities. UNICEF intimately contributes to "Capacity building in HIV/AIDS Prevention" UN Joint Program (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP) aimed at strengthening the capacity of local authorities and selected NGOs working in the areas of community development, youth, human rights, gender, etc., to mainstream HIV/AIDS into their activities.
UNICEF will continue to implement programs and projects that contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and, particularly, to realization of children's rights to grow up healthy, well-nourished in a caring, nurturing and protective environment. Working in cooperation with other members of the UN family as well as Government, NGOs and donors, UNICEF’s 2005-2009 Country Program will continue to focus on sustaining progress already made.
Implementations of Laws
Despite the developments and the presence of political will, the implementation of laws still remains a problem as few working mechanisms have been established and resources, both human and financial, have been insufficient to translate provisions of laws into results for children. Although public expenditure on health, education and social sectors have been steadily increasing over the last 5 years, they still were not sufficient to ensure all rights for all children. Indeed, public expenditure on general education represented only 2.75% per cent of GDP in 2006, while expenditure on health fared even worse at 1.64% of GDP. Poverty continues to be the major cause of exclusion of children, particularly those living in rural areas, from social services. Despite noticeable progress in reducing poverty rate in Armenia, 41.9 per cent of children under 5 are considered to be poor and 8 per cent are extremely poor. UNICEF is actively supporting the Government of Armenia in tackling challenges posed by poverty and in developing policies and strategies that would bring about results for children and enable the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The organization’s contribution to the implementation of reform initiatives in health, education and child welfare areas as well as concerted efforts of the Government of Armenia to improve the situation in those sectors yielded tangible results.
Total population – 3,016,000 Total child population in Armenia (0–18 years old) – 819,000 Total child population (0–5 years old) – 162,000 GNI per capita in USD in 2005 – 1,470 Overall poverty level – 30% in 2005 Poverty level among children - 41.9 per cent of children under 5 are poor and eight per cent are extremely poor.
Health & Nutrition
Infant Mortality Rate (under 1) per 1,000 live births – 26 Under-5 Mortality Rate per 1,000 live births – 30 Maternal Mortality Rate per 100,000 live births (1990–2005) – 25 Percentage of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition – 13 Immunization Rate – 90% Percentage of children under 6 months exclusively breastfed – 33 Percentage of households consuming iodized salt – 97
Gross enrolment rate in primary school - 93.6% Children not reaching high school - 25%
Percentage of 1-5 year old children attending pre-school – 19.8%
Number of children in 8 state orphanages – 900 Number of children in 52 special schools – 10,000 Number of children with disabilities – over 8,000 or 0.7% of the overall child population Number of juveniles convicted to imprisonment – 49
Adolescent's Health & Development
HIV prevalence – 0.17% Number of registered HIV cases – 463 as of 1 June 2007 (citizens of Armenia only) Number of HIV-positive children – 10 Majority of HIV-infected persons are from 20-39 age group HIV transmission through injecting drug use – 50.3% HIV transmission through heterosexual practices – 42.3% Mother-to-child transmission – 2%