Azerbaijan and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) currently finalizing a five-year Cooperation Framework, Jacek Cukrowski, Chief, UNIDO Regional Coordination Division – Europe and Central Asia told Trend.

Cooperation between United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Azerbaijan has been evolving over a number of years, Cukrowski said.

In his words the Cooperation Framework will supersede the previous Framework Programme on Cooperation signed in 2014, to further strengthen the partnership and foster joint activities in a set of key priority areas, including Industry 4.0, environmental sustainability, and renewable energy.

One project that UNIDO is currently implementing, which is funded by the Government of Slovenia, aims to develop an innovation ecosystem and support infrastructure in Azerbaijan, including the creation of a Digital Education and Innovation Centre.

“Within this framework, UNIDO is establishing a digital training platform to enhance the outreach of the Innovation Agency of Azerbaijan, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. Several capacity-building activities on innovation and ecosystem building have already been delivered, and the digital platform will soon be launched with dedicated learning modules on innovation management and other thematic areas to help develop a solid innovation ecosystem in the country,” Cukrowski said.

Cukrowski noted that another example is a recently completed project that supported Azerbaijan’s efforts to foster environmental protection, and, in particular, the initiation of the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), based on the country’s commitments under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Moreover, UNIDO has been actively participating in the development and implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Azerbaijan 2021-2025, together with other UN sister agencies. UNIDO contributed to several of the Programme’s outputs and serves as a custodian agency for the indicators of Sustainable Development Goal 9 on infrastructure, industrialization, and innovation.