Delawar Barekzai, international UN Volunteer with UNDP Azerbaijan, during one of his presentations.
Delawar Barekzai, international UN Volunteer with UNDP Azerbaijan, during one of his presentations.

Supporting government efforts to implement SDGs with UNDP in Azerbaijan

Following Presidential Decree of 2016, the Azerbaijan government founded the National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development (NCCSD) to align their development programs with the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP has been supporting the government by nationalizing SDGs, prioritizing targets and indicators, and mainstreaming policy development and implementation. Currently serving as a UN Volunteer, SDG Policy Advisor; Delawar Barekzai joined UNDP Azerbaijan in August 2018, bringing with him almost 10 years of hands-on experience in the development field.

Having previously worked with multiple UN agencies on SDG nationalization and localization process, governance and multi-stakeholder approaches to inclusive development, Delawar believes his work as International UN Volunteer in Baku at the UNDP Country Office is making a real difference.

I am very proud to serve as an International UN Volunteer throughout this meaningful process, as it provides a platform where I see that I can contribute to the achievement of one of the most ambitious development agendas. -- Delawar Barekzai, international UN Volunteer with UNDP Azerbaijan

One of Delawar’s key tasks at the UNDP Country Office is to provide policy advisory support for the UNDP and its government counterparts. His work aims to advance the nation’s SDGs, build national capacities for SDG statistical framework, and provide much-needed support by monitoring and reporting on SDG progression. This has also included a review of the UNDP Country Office’s engagement, projects and programs, making sure all intervention efforts are aligned with the ‘leave no one behind’ framework. Most notably, Delawar has helped to develop Azerbaijan’s Voluntary National Review (VNR), which will be presented at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York.

Delawar Barekzai, international UN Volunteer with UNDP Azerbaijan, during one of his presentations. (UNDP Azerbaijan, 2019)

Following the 2030 Agenda’s founding principles of participation and inclusivity, multi-stakeholder involvement has been emphasized at all levels. As a result, the UNDP has helped to organize a number of stakeholder consultation platforms. This includes ‘Public-Private Sector Dialogue’, ‘The Role of Youth in SDGs Conference’ and public consultation for SDG prioritization. By supporting the government’s coordination processes, Delawar and his colleagues have been able to consolidate the concerns and needs of stakeholders who represent a variety of different sectors.

It doesn’t matter where you work, as long as you feel that your work has a positive impact on the lives of millions of people, which should be the ‘buzz’ in all of our lives. -- Delawar Barekzai, International UN Volunteer with UNDP Azerbaijan

The UNDP intervenes as part of the Global Agenda and its inclusive focus means that it centers on reaching out to those who have the least visibility. As a strong advocate of volunteerism and sustainable development, Delawar believes that volunteering should be highlighted as an important tool to promote and implement nationalized SDGs in Azerbaijan. His assignment contributes to the achievement of SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Alongside people like Delawar, the UNDP provides support which allows greater cohesion of government policies and the implementation of national development plans that are aligned with the 2030 Agenda, whilst promoting broader international cooperation.