The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Déclaration de la Directrice exécutive adjointe de l’UNOPS à la session annuelle de 2024 du Conseil d’administration

Déclaration de Kirstine Damkjaer, Sous-Secrétaire générale des Nations Unies et Directrice exécutive adjointe de l’UNOPS chargée de la mise en œuvre et des partenariats, devant le Conseil d’administration du PNUD, du FNUAP et de l’UNOPS à sa session annuelle, le 6 juin 2024 (en anglais).

[Check against delivery]

Mr President, honorable members,
I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you today.

Today marks 11 days since I have been at UNOPS - an organization that fascinates me as I learn more about its operations, impact and its dedicated people.

UNOPS was obviously not new to me. Before joining UNOPS, I worked for over 25 years at various global senior-level management roles, which included significant focus on areas such as infrastructure, development finance and project implementation. This involved extensive experience at the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) where I had seen the impact of the work of UNOPS as a trusted implementation partner, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Just before joining UNOPS, I worked at the Africa Finance Corporation, which seeks to offer pragmatic solutions to Africa’s infrastructure gaps within challenging operating environments. That experience, too, has left me with renewed appreciation of the challenges in driving sustainable development and economic growth, in the most challenging of contexts. The very focus of UNOPS.

And so allow me to start with expressing my gratitude for the opportunity to be able to contribute to this amazing organization’s vital mission to help build better lives, and to support countries to achieve peace and sustainable development.

My role at UNOPS has a focus on the organization’s delivery and partnerships. This includes the delivery of all of our projects, across procurement, infrastructure, and project/programme management, including financial management and human resources.

And in my statement today, I will briefly cover various aspects of this mandate.

In 2023, UNOPS provided project services amounting to $2.7 billion. This involved working with around 180 partners. For the first time, UNOPS saw highest demand (23 per cent) from international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank Group. Demand from United Nations partners remained substantial and stable, at 21 per cent. Demand from vertical funds and multi-partner initiatives and donor countries also grew.

Last year, my colleagues worked in over 80 countries, responding to needs where they are greatest. Almost two thirds of the response was in countries in special or fragile situations. In terms of regional distribution, 39 per cent of our in-country activities took place in Asia, 27 per cent in Africa, 17 per cent in the Americas, 3 per cent in Europe, and 1 per cent in Oceania.

Procurement remained the functional service in greatest demand (35 per cent) for UNOPS. Infrastructure amounted to 21 per cent, and project management to 13 per cent. Financial management services for funds implementation and grants management comprised 19 per cent, and human resources services 11 per cent.

In 2023, UNOPS procured about $1.6 billion of goods and services from more than 5,500 suppliers; managed over $510 million in grants for more than 2,300 implementing partners; and recruited over 3,700 personnel for UNOPS and its partners. We created 3.2 million days of work for local works in 2023, up from 8.7 million in 2022.

Honorable members of the Board,

Around the world, UNOPS works with partners, countries and communities, to respond to needs now - while building the foundations for a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive future. 

I am proud to be part of this organization. I look forward to working under your guidance to support UNOPS operations around the world. And I am always open to your questions, suggestions or further engagement with you, about any areas within my portfolio.

Thank you.

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