UNOPS Executive Board convenes second regular session in New York

NEW YORK – UNOPS Under Secretary-General and Executive Director, Grete Faremo, presented the 2013 Annual Statistical Report on United Nations Procurement to the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS in New York on 2 September.

In her first statement to the Board since her appointment, Ms Faremo extended her gratitude to former Executive Director Jan Mattsson, who retired in May, and Deputy Executive Director Vitaly Vanshelboim, for their instrumental role in creating UNOPS financial stability, clear mandate, and commitment to reform and change.

Reflecting on the organization's results in 2013, which were presented to the Board in June, Ms Faremo highlighted the need for continued focus on how best to make lasting contributions to the work of UNOPS partners, while upholding the highest standards of integrity.

"We have a responsibility to invest in our services, to ensure that the work we do on behalf of our partners is genuinely sustainable, for the benefit of future generations," Ms Faremo stated, adding that "Executive Board support in this evolution has been clear."

She noted the increasingly important role of national governments in supporting development in fragile states and stressed the need for UNOPS to adapt to the evolving global development trends by supporting new types of partnerships, from a broader range of stakeholders.

"We believe UNOPS has something unique to offer private companies since the agency has long experience of leading and ensuring the quality of projects under very difficult circumstances," Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, Geir O. Pederson said in a statement delivered on behalf of the Nordic countries after Ms Faremo's address.

In her second statement to the Board, Ms Faremo outlined the main findings of the 2013 Annual Statistical Report on United Nations Procurement. The report highlights a steady increase in overall UN procurement, which reached $16.1 billion in 2013. This edition marks the 30th anniversary of the report, which is compiled by UNOPS on behalf of the UN system.

Members of the Executive Board welcomed the report and its comprehensive analysis of UN procurement activities and trends.

A statement delivered by a representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations noted that "UN procurement activities play an important facilitating role in improving the productivity and services quality of developing countries", helping contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

For the sixth consecutive year, UNOPS has produced a thematic supplement to the Report, which this year focuses on innovation in procurement and supply. The supplement provides an overview of how procurement can drive innovation for development, through a range of articles and case studies compiled from academia, the public and private sectors, and UN organizations.