YEREVAN—For his instrumental role in supporting sustainable development in Armenia, for his efforts in the country aimed at reducing poverty, bridging regional disparities, creating jobs, and improving the quality of services, today the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Armenia appointed Eduardo Eurnekian, a prominent Argentinean-Armenian businessman and one of the largest investors in Armenia, as its first ever National Goodwill Ambassador.
“I’m very excited to get involved with the UNDP’s work and to contribute by using my position to promote the UNDP’s message and raise awareness for the issues they are working on, such as poverty reduction, promotion of democratic reform, and sustainable environmental management,” said Eduardo Eurnekian.
During its twenty-year presence in Armenia, the UNDP came to a firm conclusion that the Armenian Diaspora, with its vast networks and expertise, can facilitate and bolster national socio-economic development projects, thus contributing to the country’s overall development. The partnership with Eurnekian and his Fruitfull Armenia Foundation (FAF) has a long history and it materialized in May 2012 when the UNDP and FAF signed a cost-sharing agreement to support agricultural and micro-business activities in communities of Baghramyan, Arevadasht, Artamet and Myasnikyan of the Armavir region. This partnership is aimed at promoting the economic revitalization of the micro-region through creation of farmers’ associations, improvement of the economic rural infrastructure – a key element for rural poverty alleviation – establishment of micro food processing facilities, and the return of non-cultivated arable lands into the sowing cycle. The project, titled “Armenian Village Revival: A Drive for Employment and Income Generation,” will cost $230,000, of which FAF will contribute $204,000.
“It is an honor and a pleasure for UNDP to appoint Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian as a National Goodwill Ambassador. We have a successful experience of partnership with Mr. Eurnekian and the Fruitfull Armenia Foundation. UNDP looks forward to working with Mr. Eurnekian as a National Goodwill Ambassador and using his vast networks and further mobilizing Diaspora efforts to fight poverty and improve the wellbeing of Armenian citizens,” said Claire Medina, UNDP Resident Representative.
Eduardo Eurnekian enjoys a worldwide reputation. In August 2012, in his capacity as Honorary Chairman of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Eduardo Eurnekian met the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The UN highly praised his relentless work to preserve and promote educational activities of the Foundation globally. In May 2012, he was awarded the prestigious “Business for Peace – 2012” prize by a special commission, consisting also of Nobel Prize winners, for his business achievements, while acting in an ethically responsible way.
Eurnekian was decorated with the “Order of Saint Gregory the Illuminator” medal, received from the Government of Armenia (2001), “Man of the Year” award, received from the Armenian General Benevolent Union in New York (2010), and the “Knight of Holy Etchmiadzin” medal, received from the Catholicos of all Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II (2011).