During his working visit to New York, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the “UN Sustainable Development Goals: The 2020-2030 Vision” summit and delivered a speech. Below is the full text of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to take part in today’s discussion on the trends and challenges impacting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs set out an ambitious framework for development cooperation, with a view to transform societies and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
We live in a world where inequalities continue to grow and tendencies of exclusion continue to rise. Therefore, we need to look into the ways in which we can work together to mitigate the current trends and challenges, through positive examples of inclusive processes.
Currently Armenia is in the midst of implementing an ambitious reform agenda, aimed at empowering our people, each and every one to use their talent and energy and make our society more resilient and prosperous.
We strongly believe that no progress could be achieved in a society if the judicial system is not trusted. If the judiciary is not fair, no sustainable development can be achieved, no economic growth can be registered, no investments will flow. And we are now in the process of elaboration on the ways and modalities of reforming our judiciary.
Our peaceful velvet revolution, which took place in Armenia last year, totally transformed the role of women in the society. Today we are absolutely convinced that they can bring changes to our country; hence we are promoting meaningful participation of women in all aspects of our life. The share of women in business is rising. The proportion of women in high managerial positions is similar to the average figure recorded in the European Union. We have more women in the IT and high-tech sector than the global average. Today we have a large participation of women in our Parliament, in top positions of our Government.
The revolutionary changes, as it is generally believed, have a negative effect on business. Nevertheless, last year our economy did not show any signs of weakness. On the contrary, our GDP registered a 5.2% growth in 2018. Our financial system has been absolutely stable. Even our national currency remained stable despite the devaluation of almost all regional currencies during the last year. In the first half of 2019 the volume of the foreign investments to Armenia has grown up to 26%. And last but not least, we have increased the income part of our budget by 25.1% due to the drastic measures taken by our Government in the fight against shadow economy.
We are now reforming our tax system to make business operations in Armenia even smoother.
We are taking steps to become an industrial country and transform our economy from mining to high tech. Tourism is yet another important accelerator of our economic advancement. In particular, we focus on cultural, ecological, and medical tourism.
In our policies of economic advancement, we focus on human capital. We place high priority on empowerment and capacity building of our youth, providing digital technology training. One of the important achievements in this field is the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, where thousands of Armenian teens have the opportunity to learn new technologies. The Center started out in Yerevan, and has already expanded to a number of other countries.
The integration of economic and environmental policies is an important issue for Armenia. Unfortunately, we are already facing the negative impact of the climate change having registered a 1.3-degree Celsius average temperature increase, which makes us the 4th most vulnerable country in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia. To address this problem, we have been working to develop an innovative climate finance mechanism which is part of Armenia’s national pledge for the Climate Action Summit of the Secretary-General.
We put high priority on the cooperation with the United Nations development system for the advancement of Smart Development. This process is currently complemented by the launch of an ambitious Transformation Strategy of Armenia 2050, consisted of sixteen mega goals.
We still have a lot to achieve. We have to overcome a tangible degree of poverty in our country. We still have to transform our economy to technologically advanced and environmentally friendly industry.
The Sustainable Development Goals are designed to promote the values of human dignity, equality and democracy. And our aim is to revive and strengthen those human-centered-values.
Thank you for your attention.”