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Armenia Policy Dialogue on Agenda2030 - Women2030 Program, Yerevan, 18 June 2018

WECF and Armenian partners invited 30 Civil Society Organisations and Government representatives to prepare input for Agenda2030 UN top in July

02.07.2018 |




WECF and Armenian partners invited 30 Civil Society Organisations and Government representatives to prepare input for Agenda2030 UN top in July

Sustainable Armenia

Everything is in transformation in Armenia at this moment, it are exciting times! When the long-term president want to change the constitution to solidly remain in power, thousands and thousands of young people started with peacefull occupation of the streets and squares of its towns. After 3 months of singing, dancing while resisting, the government stepped down and the opposition took over an interim government to prepare for new elections. A huge success for democracy in the Caucasus. 

Engaging Civil Society in Agenda2030

Women2030 partners Rural Agricultural Development Fund and Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment jointly with WECF International invited to a policy dialogue meeting on the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in Yerevan, Armenia on 18th of June 2018. 

HLPF

As the Armenian government will present its Voluntary National Review on the progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, at the upcoming High Level Political Forum at the UN in New York, on the 17th of July, the Women2030 partners gathered priorities of civil society organisations as an input into the National Report. The policy consultation was organised with funding from the European Commission and the RADF.

Priority areas

The UN agencies and the ministries of health and foreign affairs and the statistics office, presented their work on the Agenda2030 process. A draft national report is in circulation, and a consultation meeting with some CSO representatives was held, but many were absent, including the women and environment organisations. So it was a good thing, that Women2030 invited to this consultation on the national review (VNR) and that the following priorities emerged: 

  • Phase out government support for unsustainable economic investments in particular in the mining area, and to make polluters pay (chemicals, heavy metals)
  • Gender equality is still far for being achieved (SDG5) as Armenia has a particular low representation of women in higher level decision making
  • Hundreds of rural communities do no have access to safe water and sanitation, this should be a priority, including attention for menstrual hygiene management in schools and workplaces

 Civil Society Platform 2030 launched

At the Women2030 Policy forum, the participants launched the initiative for a Civil Society Platform 2030, to engage organisations from all different backgrounds in the national implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals in Armenia. Those interest please contact the organisers. Several Armenian CSOs will participate in the High Level Political Forum in New York, and have started working together on questions to be asked to the government when they present their national report in New York. 

The following input was provided to the UN DESA as possible questions to pose during HLPF.

Resulting from the policy dialogue meeting organised today as part of the global Women2030 program, following questions emerged:

1) Unsustainable economic sectors have received government support in the past, for example mining and nuclear, whereas new sectors such as IT have not, can the Agenda2030 process help to inverse these priorizations? 

2) Armenia is increasingly a water-scarce country, and still has 560 rural communities that have no safe drinking water and sanitation access, the situation for women and girls is particularly problematic as they require menstrual hygiene management policies, even though indicator 6.2.1 does not specify needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups, the target 6.2. does mention this, can the VNR reflect this as a priority area for action? 

3) Municipal waste includes more and more plastics and other harmful substances that release harmful chemicals when burned and polluted the waterways with micro fibres that re-enter into the food-chain, and often waste management is seen as a cost, not as a potential source of resources, can the VNR reflect this as a priority area? 

4) Women are the motor of Armenia economy, but are hardly represented in decision making positions, as traditional gender roles prevail, how can the VNR reflect the need for awareness raising and policies that help to create work-life-balance for women and men equality? 

Visits of Rural Women groups

WECF director Sascha Gabizon and Elena Manvelian of Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment visited rural women groups which were intiaitved 10 years ago during their common program on Women’s empowerment (financed by Dutch government), and who have been flourishing since: organic red lentils have become a best-seller for Woman farmer Razia, whose husband has migrated and who now needs to ensure the survival of the farm and family, and AWHHE colleague Lucine is not the managing director of the first organic fertilizer production plan in Armenia, and already exporting to Georgia: she showed us the production site and the many ‘happy wurms’ which are essential for the creation of health humus soil. (photos)

 


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