In her first official visit as Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNOPS, Grete Faremo was welcomed by key Somali government officials, including Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed and ministers of planning, finance, public works and national security.
"It was a fruitful meeting. It covered the priorities of the Somali government and plans on how to put them into action. There were important aspects upon which we agreed including politics, security, judiciary as well as areas of economic development. The meeting ended on a very good note," said Said Abdullahi Mohamed, Somalia's Minister for Planning and International Cooperation.
Speaking after her meeting with the Prime Minister, Ms Faremo confirmed UNOPS is working with several branches of the Government of Somalia
"We are here to support vital development efforts" stated Ms Faremo. "We want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting humanitarian activities, to provide advice on all the important work that is going on now to strengthen the political institutions, security and the justice sector, and we are looking forward to continuing this strong cooperation," she said.
Watch this video of the UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo meeting key officials in Somalia.
Her visit comes in the wake of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recent
statement on Somalia, stressing the importance of national reconciliation, and followed a visit to neighbouring Kenya, where she met with Acting President William Ruto, and pledged to continue to support the Government's Vision 2030 programme through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
Joining Ms Faremo was former Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille in his capacity as UNOPS Regional Director for Africa.
"Working in complex humanitarian environments is a challenging undertaking, but developing national capacity is essential to support the peace process," said Mr Conille, adding that: "Working in partnerships, in co-ordination with state actors, community groups and the private sector, is fundamental to ensuring populations in conflict-affected countries receive the support they need."
UNOPS undertakes a number of activities in Somalia, building roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure for its partners.
In 2013 UNOPS supported the delivery of $69 million worth of activities for partners in the country, primarily through its support to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), who work with AMISOM, the Somali Police Force and the Federal Government of Somalia to mitigate the threat of explosive hazards and support the development of sustainable Somali structures to deal with these threats.
"Our colleagues in UNMAS are working tirelessly to make this a safer environment conducive to development. We want to pay tribute to all of those dedicated to improving the lives of people in places like Somalia, continued Ms Faremo. Whatever we can do to support partners to increase the prospects for peace and security, we will."
For press inquiries, please contact the Communications Practice Group at UNOPS,
firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to download the video. For media use, credit United Nations Office for Somalia (UNSOM).