Armenia*
Voluntary National Review 2020

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT

The Republic of Armenia has been firmly committed to the implementation of the “Agenda 2030” for sustainable development.

Beginning with 2015 the established Intergovernmental Council has actively worked on creating the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of SDGs as a matter of institutional and systemic approach towards the SDGs policy.

The renewed Intergovernmental Council for SDG headed by Deputy Prime Minister has been recently established with broader representation and mandate to coordinate and monitor the SDG implementation and nationalization processes. This is an inclusive and collaborative endeavor between the Government and wider participatory networks, including civil society, academia, the UN country team, etc. that correspond to the “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approach.

NATIONAL OWNERSHIP

The Government of Armenia is in the process of incorporating the 2030 Agenda into the national reform agenda and strategies. Currently the Government is developing the “Armenia Transformation Strategy 2050” which includes 16 megagoals with their own targets, indicators, tasks and solutions. The Strategy is considered as a framework of implementation of the SDGs and the megagoals mainly correspond with them.

SUCCESSFUL PATH FOR DEVELOPMENT

Armenia was named “Country of the year 2018” by “The Economist” indicating the country's remarkable improvement in 2018. That was a year of fundamental democratic transformation manifested by the peaceful Velvet Revolution, which has demonstrated the considerably high degree of political maturity and legal literacy of the Armenian public.

Since 2018, the Government has been implementing a wide range of reforms to ensure full and unimpeded realization of civil and political rights, including rule of law, independent judiciary, campaign against corruption and strengthening the democratic institutions, which has widely contributed to the successful implementation of especially SDG16. This progress has been asserted also by reports of reputable international organizations, such as Freedom House, Gallup Institute, etc

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Armenian democratic transition has been manifested by “Democratic Index 2019” (Economist Intelligence Unit). Armenia managed to show the notable improvement and made substantial steps towards democracy upgrading its position by 17 points (ranking 86th) despite the fall in average global score of democratic index.

Another important achievement was the considerable improvement of the position of Armenia in the Corruption Perception Index conducted by Transparency International. Armenia has progressed by 28 points (ranking 77th), which became possible due to the high political will and the elimination of “systemic corruption”.

The Government has launched nationwide economic reforms targeting specifically on modernizing Armenia’s economy with particular emphasis on advancing high tech industry, developing the innovation ecosystem.

In 2019 the GDP growth rate in Armenia was 7.6 % which was the highest among the Eurasian Economic Union member states, neighboring countries and the European countries. The poverty rate continued to decline reaching 23.5% in comparison with 29.8% in 2015. The extreme poverty rate decline has been diminished twice since 2015 reaching 1%. The Government aims to eliminate the extreme poverty until 2023.

Underlining “leaving no one behind” principle the Government initiated a number of reforms targeting vulnerable groups, gender inequality reduction, accessibility and quality of health services, like adopted law on tobacco-control, launched air ambulance services for health emergencies, accessible education, like transition to universal inclusive general education until 2023, revision of state educational standards, fostering labor-market oriented skills.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

There are still gaps in the process of SDG implementation. The efforts need to be doubled to overcome the general challenges revealed during the review process, such as:

  • legislation concerning equality,
  • mitigation and adaptation to climate change,
  • energy diversification and sustainable use of natural resources,
  • judicial reform.

COVID-19

The continued spread of COVID-19 pandemic is expected to considerably weaken the progress of the implementation of SDGs in many countries, including in Armenia. The Government undertakes substantial measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the proper functioning and preparedness of health system. To mitigate the foreseen socio-economic slowdown, the Government initiated an assistance package amounted $300 million (2% of GDP), including:

  • direct grants to SMEs and microentrepreneurs,
  • state-sponsored targeted loans,
  • compensation for utility payments,
  • financial support to vulnerable groups,
  • tuition fee support.

The spread of COVID-19 has also negatively influenced the VNR preparation process with cancellation of planned meetings, workshops, replacing them with online tools.

Voluntary National Review 2018

The Republic of Armenia is presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development this July.

The VNR presents the progress and experience gained by the Republic of Armenia in so far during the nationalization and implementation process of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. It also aims to deliver and reflect on political, legal, practical and behavioral advantages, as well as obstacles and challenges in Armenia`s daily life regarding the implementation of the SDGs. Undoubtedly, the process confirms the crosscutting and broad ranging nature of the exercise that most probably will go beyond 2030 and require concerted efforts and commitment at both national and international levels.

The VNR is reflecting on the evolution of the build-up in Armenia towards the implementation of the SDGs since 2015.

The main messages of the VNR are as follows:

  • The Government of the Republic of Armenia reconfirms its adherence to the implementation of the SDGs agreed at the UN milestone summit in 2015 when the international community collectively pledged that No one will be left behind
  • The Government of the Republic of Armenia approaches the implementation of the UN SDGs as one of the important instruments of delivering the all-encompassing internal reforms initiated in Armenia
  • Since 2015, the country has actively worked on creating the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of the SDGs as a matter of institutional and systemic approach towards the SDGs implementation (National Council of Sustainable Development under the Prime Minister of the RA, SDG Nationalization Inter-agency task force, Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab - an innovation platform to support the UN SDGs implementation at country level. This is the first in a kind innovation model in the world where the National Government and the UN are joining forces to establish a joint platform to support the acceleration and implementation of the SDGs in a country.). Global metadata of relevant documentation on all indicators has been developed by the National Statistical Service which will help to assess current state of affairs with regard to the SDGs.
  • Within the process of SDGs implementation in Armenia the country actively and successfully cooperates with our international partners, the United Nations, first and foremost (MAPS Mission, Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab, UN Global Pulse), as well as a wide range of international development organizations, leading technological and innovation centers across the world (Stanford University Changes Lab, Columbia University SIPA, etc.) to attract the best available experience and expertise, as well as new and innovative instruments of financing the SDGs implementation.

The VNR structurally reflects:

  • the rationale for making it part and an important instrument of the internal reforms initiated in Armenia;
  • the adoption of the necessary decisions and development of the necessary infrastructure for the efficient implementation of the SDGs in Armenia;
  • the success story of the cooperation with the United Nations and other international partners in developing the most relevant and state-of-the-art instruments and innovation platforms for the implementation of the SDGs;
  • the initial work already accomplished by the Government towards determining the state of play vis-à-vis SDGs, targets and indicators, nationalization of the SDGs and adoption of a national roadmap for the SDGs implementation in Armenia.

The VNR makes a reference to the topic of this year’s HLPF and to the set of specific goals to be reviewed in depth, namely Goals 6, 7, 11, 12, 15, and 17. Reference to the remaining set of the SDGs is also covered in the report.
This first review of the implementation of the SDGs is a starting point for regular, inclusive and continuous process that will guide our future activities in this regard. Among other things, it should also strengthen the cooperation between all stakeholders of the process and improve the accountability of the state institutions towards the Armenian society.

Focal point

Documents & Reports

National Reports
Report Topics covered Process
National Report - Armenia Rio+20;

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Armenia* is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
United Nations