The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Des solutions durables, résilientes et innovantes pour lutter contre les changements climatiques

Discours de Jorge Moreira da Silva, Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies et Directeur exécutif de l’UNOPS, lors du débat consacré aux questions de coordination du Conseil économique et social pour 2024 (en anglais).

Distinguished Vice-President, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, colleagues and friends,

It is an honor to be here with you all today.

We are living in difficult times. The climate crisis is escalating and our world has today the highest number of violent conflicts since the Second World War. More than ever, it is urgent to pull together our resources to implement the 2030 Agenda, respond to the climate crisis and find sustainable solutions to our global challenges.

Simply - we need concrete and joint action, on the SDGs, on climate and on peace and security and humanitarian needs, all of which are deeply interconnected.

Last year’s COP28 highlighted the serious implementation gap that exists in climate action.

Implementation - and a focus on actions - is our bread and butter at UNOPS. For decades, we have been working with our partners to help bridge the implementation gap and deliver immediate, and meaningful action on the ground. We do this mainly through our capacity in procurement, infrastructure, and project and programme management. This includes working with our partners to provide practical solutions on climate action that help accelerate meeting the climate targets, as recently confirmed by the COP.

We support the development of sustainable infrastructure projects that focus on climate resilience. We help communities and countries build resilience and adapt to changing climatic conditions. And we broker partnerships and manage multi stakeholder initiatives for climate action. Throughout, we promote environmentally friendly practices in the way we conduct our business. We have an ambitious agenda to advance our projects and operations towards the net-zero goal.

Our ability to deliver meaningful action on the ground was clearly recognized by member states, when we were chosen, together with UNDRR, to host the secretariat of the Santiago network for loss and damage technical assistance and capacity building. The Loss and Damage Fund and the Santiago network - as you know- are parallel mechanisms coming together to deliver policy, finance and technical assistance for loss and damage.

But allow me to also offer other examples of how we work in partnership with the UN family and others to advance climate action.

UNOPS Water, Environment and Climate (WEC) portfolio has supported more than 130 partners in the last 15 years and in about 80 countries, providing financial, grant and project management services on behalf of global funds and together with partners. This portfolio includes collaborations with UNDP, UNEP, the Global Environment Facility, the Green Climate Fund and other key partners from governments and the civil society.

Additionally, around the world, we help increase access to clean and affordable energy, and support the energy transition away from fossil fuels. One example is in Sierra Leone, where our experience involves deploying solar mini-grids to provide sustainable, low-carbon energy to rural communities for the benefit of more than 300,000 residents nationwide, as well as local businesses and essential services. Here, public-private partnership agreements have further enabled private co-investment into mini-grids. Similarly, in Papua New Guinea, UNOPS technical expertise is helping introduce local mini-grids using solar and hydropower hybrid systems for hard-to-reach communities.

In Africa and Asia, we are promoting partnerships to mobilize technical and financial resources, tackling the main obstacles for implementing a sustainable energy future.

With UNEP and other partners, we have supported the preparation of roadmaps, including in Ghana, Bangladesh, St Lucia and Curaçao to improve national infrastructure systems, so they are better prepared for more intense and frequent climate hazards.

Throughout, we rely on robust partnerships for effective action on climate change. The world needs to deliver more and deliver today. And I really look forward to the conversation on how we can coordinate and collaborate more effectively, to deliver better for people and the planet.

Thank you.

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