A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
For the international community 2016 was a challenging year.
We saw the conflict in Syria going into its seventh year. We saw escalating insecurity in places like South Sudan and Yemen; and vast increases in the number of people fleeing violence. We also saw positive challenges. Prospects of peace in Colombia, the signing, and the flow of ratifications of the climate change agreement from Paris, and commitments at Habitat III in Quito to rethink how our cities are planned and managed.
In the UN we saw the arrival of a new Secretary General. And crucially, the Sustainable Development Goals came into force - with calls for greater efforts towards their implementation.
It was the first full year of the international community’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. These commitments speak to the importance of working together to overcome common challenges. They represent a collective pledge to a sustainable, more just, world for our future generations.
“Our inability to prevent crises” is a shortcoming that the new Secretary-General, António Guterres, pointed out in his welcome address, and one which underscores the importance of finding a new way of working together at one – the UN, and the public and private sectors alike.
We know full well that our increasingly connected and complex world means that the UN must engage effectively with a wider group of partners. The demands of our time compel us to work in a more sophisticated way together. Coordinated efforts that account for the strengths of a wider variety of stakeholders and technologies, including the private sector, is the smartest way forward.
In helping the international community respond to the intractable global problems we face, UNOPS is focused on implementation.
We manage projects, infrastructure and procurement; we identify, contract and deliver experts to combat critical emergencies; we manage finances for leading global and national health initiatives, and humanitarian support and relief. This is what we do and we do it well; with the speed and efficiency of the private sector.
Our work in peace and security contexts was wide ranging in 2016. In this report we highlight examples from Colombia, Iraq and Yemen amongst others.
We all know that we have a lot of work ahead of us.
Above all, sustainability is at the forefront of the UN’s work around the world. I sincerely hope our determination to help people in need, to act proactively against the destruction of our planet, and our resolve to fight inequality, will help us reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
THE JOBS WE CREATE
Few measures can describe UNOPS commitment to sustainability better than jobs we create for local people.
THE KNOWLEDGE WE BRING
A core contribution to social sustainability and developing national capacity is through passing on our skills and experience to the people we work with on our projects.
BUILDING LOCAL ECONOMIES
One of the strongest ways we help develop local economies is through our expertise in procurement. We continue to encourage local procurement across all our projects, and track these results.
Measuring our impact on the planet is a foundation of sustainability. In 2016, global temperatures soared, recording the hottest year on record. UNOPS is committed to climate neutrality.