UNDP's Helen Clark says Baku forum allows for exchange of ideas

UNDP's Helen Clark says Baku forum allows for exchange of ideas

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 2

By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:

The UN Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said that the 4th Baku International Humanitarian Forum provides an important opportunity for exchange of ideas on a wide range of issues.

Clark made the remarks at the opening of the forum, which kicked off Oct. 2.

She said the UNDP's work with Azerbaijan is aimed at development of a number of innovative initiatives.

The UNDP administrator also noted that Azerbaijan owns large reserves of valuable natural resources.

"Translating natural resource wealth into wealth for the country and greater human development requires deliberate public policy decisions which will achieve those ends," Clark said, "Azerbaijan has made significant decisions in this respect."

She also congratulated Azerbaijan and its partners on the 20th anniversary celebration of the Contract of the Century that took place in Baku Sept. 20.

"This contract opened up major new opportunities for Azerbaijan's development. As for other resource-rich countries, it was also a time for reflection on how Azerbaijan's wealth could contribute to lifting human development," Clark stressed.

She went on to add that over the years, Azerbaijan has seen a drastic reduction in poverty, new investments in social services, the establishment of a social security system, and rising salaries.

"Continuing to lift human development will be critical for the achievement of Azerbaijan's national development strategy, Vision 2020. At UNDP we are fully committed to supporting Azerbaijan in taking this vision forward," Clark said.

She said that Azerbaijan is well placed to share its development experiences with other countries.

Clark added that the UNDP and Azerbaijan have already partnered on support provided by Azerbaijan's Communications and High Technologies Ministry to Afghanistan, through the UNDP offices in Baku and Kabul.

She noted that the UNDP sees many other possibilities for sharing Azerbaijan's innovations.

"UNDP has welcomed the establishment of the ASAN Service Center - a one-stop shop for access to public documentation," Clark noted. "This approach has been a great success here in Azerbaijan, and will be of interest to other countries seeking to modernize their public services."

The UNDP administrator said Azerbaijan also has unique experiences to share in areas as wide-ranging as e-governance, mine clearance, oil revenue management, and youth policies and programs.

The 4th Baku International Humanitarian Forum will last from Oct. 2-3. Within the framework of the forum, tours to the country's districts, namely Nakhchivan, Lankaran, Quba and Qabala will be organized on Oct. 4-5.

Well-known politicians, representatives of the socio-political circles, scholars and figures of culture are also participating in the forum.

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