On 25 January at UN Headquarters in New York the IDeA Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations held a joint event, entitled “Ideas for Impact: Mobilizing Investment for Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs).
The event, attended by representatives of the UN Member States, the UN system, leading philanthropists and impact investors, civil society, diaspora organizations representatives, explored the ways and opportunities to accelerate solutions and innovations contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. The 17 SDGs summarize the ambitious agenda set by the United Nations Member States to transform the world by 2030.
In his opening remarks, Mher Margaryan, the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations highlighted the added value of partnerships for sustainable development – the very idea behind the 2030 agenda and Goal 17, which calls for enhanced synergies for inclusive and collaborative action by the government, the civil society, the private sector in supporting sustainable development efforts.
"We are determined to continue to work hand in hand with all partners who are committed to ideas for impact, and, in this context, I would like to thank the IDeA Foundation for commitment and dedication to the UN global goals and the projects implemented in support of the SDGs".
The discussion focused on the role IDeA Foundation can play as a development partner joining efforts with other stakeholders to accelerate and scale up business solutions/innovations contributing to the achievement of SDGs in Armenia, and the role of diaspora in creating effective development cooperation.
In this regard, now on the board of Armenia’s UNDP-supported National SDG Innovation Lab, IDeA is working with Armenians from all walks of life – from local communities to the Armenian diaspora – to strengthen the country’s economy and living standards while preserving its culture and ancestral traditions.
“Learning by doing, bringing in platforms of different partners, such as IDeA Foundation, scaling up solutions and bringing in blended financing are key factors to increase success in development in the 21st century,” said Paolo Galli, Senior Regional Adviser at UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia.
In his keynote speech board member of IDeA Foundation, co-founder of Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Noubar Afeyan touched upon the importance of engaging the Armenian diaspora in the implementation SDGs and spoke about the role of IDeA Foundation in that process.
“IDeA’s thoughtful and holistic approach combines economic, social and cultural advantages to address ambitious goals for advancing the prosperity and strengthening the identity of the global Armenian nation. We are fortunate to have at its helm a committed group of leaders from the Armenian diaspora, who bring a diverse collection of talents and expertise», Noubar Afeyan mentioned.
At the core of IDeA’s development model is an anchor project that represents a substantial investment and that makes a significant leap in sustainable long-term impact for the Armenian world.
“IDeA makes its long-term impact on people; lives are changed, enriched, and empowered by the projects that it launches. Ultimately, the most accurate measurements of prosperity and identity are ones that assess our contribution to the human condition”, Ruben Vardanyan, philanthropist, social entrepreneur, co-founder of IDeA Foundation and Aurora Humanitarian Initiative said.
He noted that IDeA stands ready to complement the work and existing responsibilities of the government and civil society organizations, the UN and other development partners.
IDeA foundation has already directed over $585 million of blended finance to development, implementing sustainable projects which have large scale socio-economic impact on Armenia’s advancement. As an example of IDeA’s successful project, Tatev Revival program key achievements were presented during the event. Back in 2008, IDeA launched the Tatev Revival Program to demonstrate a powerful combination of traditional philanthropy, impact investment, as well as social investment to develop local communities.