Achieving MDGs in Armenia

Nations that once united after a global war and established an institution to ensure a more secure and just world joined their wills once again in 2000 in New York. This time they signed the Millennium Declaration and agreed upon eight common goals – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – to be reached by the whole world by 2015. Both the developed and developing countries, the North and South, East and West pledged to reach the minimum development agenda that the MDGs represent. For more details and complete list of Millennium Development Goals click here.

Armenia was one of the 189 countries that signed the Millennium Declaration. Thus, our country pledged to reach the following goals by 2015.

Nationalized Goals, Targets and Indicators

Goal 1:  Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty. Halving the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day and halving malnutrition.

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. Ensuring that all children are able to complete primary education.

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women. Eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary schooling, preferably by 2005 and no later than 2015.

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality. Cutting the under-five death rate by two-thirds.

Goal 5: Improve maternal health. Reducing the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; halt and begin to reverse HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental stability. Cutting by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. Reforming aid and trade with special treatment for the poorest countries.

National MDG Progress in the Limelight of the UN in Armenia

Armenia, as other UN member states which joined the UN Millennium Declaration in September 2000, is facing a challenging task nowadays – the achievement of universally recognized Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The attainment of these goals becomes even more challenging due to the impact of the global economic and financial crisis.

The MDG campaign was first initiated in Armenia in October 2002 and the UN mobilized its resources, together with the government counterparts and the civil society, in adapting the global goals to the country context. Representatives of NGOs and media became part of a countrywide MDG network with the main objective of advocating for the MDGs on a grassroots level. The MDG targets and indicators were nationalized to correspond to the country-specific priorities of poverty reduction and human development reflected in the main development policies and strategies of Armenia. The process was lead and driven by the government with the active involvement of national experts which has greatly contributed to enhancing national ownership over the MDGs. The Republic of Armenia Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP) was adopted in 2003 and became the first policy document where the achievement of MDGs was formally reflected.

The first nationalized MDG Status Report published in 2005 established the MDG framework for Armenia. However, government’s ambitious reform agenda sought further channels in incorporating the MDGs into country’s main policies. In 2008, a comprehensive strategic program on the country's long-term development - Sustainable Development Program (SDP) - was adopted and the achievement of the MDGs is at the core of this strategic document.

In September 2010 the Second MDG National Progress Report was launched by the UN Office in Yerevan. The report was produced by the company “AVAG Solutions” Ltd. and commissioned by the UNDP, in close cooperation with the Armenian authorities.

The document assesses the main trends and the current state of progress towards achieving the MDGs, taking into consideration the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. As a result of the economic downturn registered in the country since the fourth quarter of 2008, the Progress Report further refined the nationalized MDG targets and indicators to provide a more up-to-date data and address more precisely the main challenges Armenia is currently facing. Some changes were made in the list of global MDG targets and indicators, which called for corresponding changes in the national MDG framework.

It is now evident that, due to the crisis and its rather serious impact on the Armenian economy, the country has to adjust the initial estimates towards achievement of nationalized MDGs. The Report analyzes the after-crisis economic and fiscal situation in the country and offers 3 different scenarios of further development.

An encouraging factor is that, based on successful piloting of MDG Framework at regional level, it was decided to scale-up the initiative at the national level and include localized MDGs, their targets and indicators in Regional Development Programs (RDPs). By the RoA Government decision of October 2008, drafting methodology of RDPs became uniform for all regions and they were requested to submit their RDPs, and the RDP drafting methodology guide, approved by the Ministry of Territorial Administration, requires that MDGs, their targets and indicators should be included in those programs. This issue is particularly pressing now as the regional socio-economic development projects are being worked out in mid-term perspective. RDPs have already been developed in certain regions and are based on PRSP/SDP goals and priorities and MDG national framework, as well as take into account development specifics of the regions.

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