UNDP RR's speech at Policy Dialogue on “Labour Market and Social Protection Reform: Role of International Partners”May 19, 2014
Dear Mr. Minister, distinguished representatives of the international community, ladies and gentlemen,
Over the last decade Azerbaijan has achieved impressive growth rates and significant fall in poverty rates. This success is largely attributed to the effective social assistance programmes, rise in social transfers and creation of new jobs. While the country has overcome the difficulties of the post-soviet independence period, new challenges emerge and a new set of policies are required to sustain the economic growth and continuously improve livelihoods.
We know that facing these challenges is possible through partnership, cooperation and a focus on results. This meeting represents an important opportunity to come together and engage in a high-level policy dialogue on how international community can support the Government-led reforms in the labour and social sphere.
Reform of labour and social protection system is crucial to ensure that the people of Azerbaijan continue to benefit from economic growth in a sustainable, equitable and inclusive manner. It has always been at heart of UNDP programmes in Azerbaijan. We have been engaged in the social sector reform for over a decade helping the country to develop the first National Employment Strategy, strengthen the vocational education system, assisting in rehabilitation of the people with disabilities, improving labour statistics, introducing innovative job search approaches, and enhancing the pension reform.
I am confident that this meeting will give us a clear idea on the priorities of the social reform and existing needs and its outcomes will provide a solid basis for coordination of efforts among development partners in order to achieve synergy of inputs and best serve the communities in need.
I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Muslumov and his staff for creating this opportunity, and all of our distinguished colleagues for joining us today and look forward to an open, frank and rich dialogue this morning.