The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Quality infrastructure and better public management key to reducing inequality

UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo and other UNOPS senior leaders joined European Development Days this week in a series of debates on building a world that leaves no one behind.

Speaking at a high-level panel on fostering inclusive growth, Ms. Faremo called for new partnerships and greater cooperation to help realize the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda.

European Development Days

Each year, European Development Days brings together the development community to share ideas and insights to inspire new partnerships and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The theme for the 2019 event was ‘Addressing inequalities: Building a world that leaves no one behind.’

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are achievable, but only if we work together. Closer cooperation between governments, and the public and private sectors is vital. Only by bringing expertise together from all walks of life, can we develop the solutions needed to address inequalities for this and future generations."

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

Organized by the European Commission’s Directorate‑General for Economic and Financial Affairs, the high-level panel discussed how good governance and economic efficiency can contribute to more inclusive societies and reduce economic inequalities. Ms. Faremo highlighted the critical role that sustainable and resilient infrastructure will play.

“By driving economic growth and job creation, quality infrastructure can reduce income inequality. This is especially important because infrastructure is built to last. If we get it wrong, infrastructure can perpetuate inequalities for decades,” said Ms. Faremo.

Members of the panel included the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, the Director of CONCORD Europe, Tanya Cox, the Vice-chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, Zhang Maoyu, and European Development Days Young Leader, Rejoice Namale.

During the two-day conference, UNOPS leaders also participated in two Lab debates.

UNOPS Director for Procurement, Patricia Moser, took part in an event co-hosted by UNOPS, UNICEF and Oxfam, which explored how to close the inequality gap in middle-income countries and build a more inclusive society.

Ms. Moser discussed how improving public procurement processes and fostering innovation amongst suppliers –  including women- and youth-owned businesses – can help to address inequalities.

“Proper public procurement can change lives and can save lives," said Ms. Moser during the session.

UNOPS Director and Representative to the EU, Françoise Jacob, joined an expert panel entitled, ‘Let oceans breathe and people live a better life.’ Co-hosted by the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, KfW (the government of Germany’s development bank), UN Environment and UNOPS, the debate explored the important link between reducing marine pollution and protecting livelihoods.


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