UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (UNIDO)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations mandated to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition. Established in 1966 with headquarters in Vienna and recognized as a specialized agency in 1985, UNIDO aims to promote industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
The Organization focuses on three main thematic areas:
UNIDO office in Armenia
UNIDO Desk in Armenia was established in May 2005 in the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between UNIDO and UNDP, aimed at (promoting inter-agency cooperation in private sector development) supporting the private sector development with joint efforts and implementing projects in line with the country's development priorities. Since March 2005 Ms.Anahit Simonyan is UNIDO Country Representative to Armenia. Cooperation with the Government of Armenia, particularly with the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments and Ministry of Nature Protection started much earlier with a provision of technical assistance in various areas such as investment promotion, quality infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and other. A Country Needs Assessment was undertaken in 2008, with a view to analyze and identify priority areas requiring UNIDO's technical assistance.
Representation of Armenia to UNIDO
Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Austria Armen Papikyan is the Permanent Representative of Armenia in UNIDO since February 2019.
UNIDO's Current Activities in Armenia
UNIDO is currently implementing technical assistance projects aimed at reducing the poverty rate through job creation by promoting the following areas:
- SME and start-up businesses
- Conducive investment environment
- Quality infrastructure
- Export-oriented industries
- Food processing business and community development groups
In the framework of the cooperation with the Government of Armenia, UNIDO prioritizes the establishment of Green Economy platform through promotion of clean technology and innovative business ideas, resource efficiency and cleaner production. Sustainable management of hazardous waste and ozone layer protection programs along with the capacity building of the public and private sectors in these areas play a significant role in the conservation and sustainable management of the environment.
Investment and Export Promotion
With a view to improve the competitiveness of export-oriented industries through modernization and access to market, UNIDO provides technical assistance for the development of the textile industry which is aimed at strengthening the production and export potential of the light industry companies and increasing their competitiveness.
SME Development and Job Creation
With financial assistance from the Austrian Government and together with the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center (SME DNC) of Armenia UNIDO supported the creation and expansion of youth-led enterprises in Shirak, Lori, Tavush and Gegharkunik regions by providing entrepreneurial trainings and financial assistance through local banks for young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
UNIDO implemented another project aimed at supporting start-up entrepreneurs from vulnerable groups in target communities of Aragatsotn and Gegharkunik regions, with financial assistance from Japanese Government through the UN Human Security Trust Fund (UNHSTF).
Support to the Agro-Processing Producer Groups
With the financial support from the European Union and Austrian Government through ENPARD programme technical assistance is rendered to the agro-processing producer groups by helping to develop agro-processing and production capacities in remote and marginalized areas through enabling the creation of cooperatives and promoting export of production.
Alternative and renewable energy development is always at the forefront of the cooperation agenda between UNIDO and the Government of Armenia. For this purpose UNIDO supports the development of alternative energy forms, in particular the spread of biogas use in rural communities of Gegharkunik region by installing biogas equipment and providing technical assistance for its operation.
Through another initiative funded by the GEF, UNIDO implemented the Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs (GCIP) in Armenia. In 2013, Armenia became the first country in Eastern Europe to join UNIDO's Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) for SMEs. Financed by GEF, the programme promoted clean technologies, including renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, in order to make SMEs more productive and competitive, as well as to decrease their carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
Support to the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention on the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
As implementing agency of the GEF-funded projects on Stockholm Convention on POPs, UNIDO continues to provide technical knowledge/expertise and assistance to the Government, particularly preparing and submitting national reports and updates to the Secretariat, as well as introducing advanced technologies and best environmental practices for the reduction of POPs from open-burning sources.
Supporting the Implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
UNIDO has taken on the initial assessment of setting Armenia in the right path to fulfilling its obligations under the Minamata Convention and place sound chemicals management at the forefront of the national sustainable development agenda.
Support to the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances
At its 57th meeting in March 2009, the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, under the Montreal Protocol, approved the institutional strengthening project for Armenia. The project will assist in the strengthening and effective functioning of the National Ozone Unit by adopting alternative Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) technologies, establishing a reliable system to collect and monitor data on ozone depleting substances, imports, exports and production and raising public awareness on the issue. Currently the project is in its 4th implementation phase.