The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Statement by Grete Faremo to the Executive Board

Under-Secretary-General Grete Faremo delivers statement at the 2019 Second Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS in New York, followed by a first-ever interactive dialogue with Member States on quality infrastructure.

“We create a space where investors can help generate social, environmental and economic impact, while making financial returns, which is key to attracting private financial resources,” Ms. Faremo said today from the Economic and Social Council Chamber at UN Headquarters. 

With reference to recent destruction in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, Ms. Faremo opened the floor in front of Member State representatives with mention of UNOPS expertise in implementing quality infrastructure. 

Speaking to the organization’s Social Impact Investing Initiative and landmark affordable housing projects, UNOPS Executive Director underscored the importance of generating real change on the ground, in line with UN values, while thinking innovatively to unleash larger sources of sustainable financing.

This last Executive Board session of the year included the official launch of the 2018 Annual Statistical Report on UN Procurement, compiled each year by UNOPS on behalf of the UN system. 

“Procurement from developing countries, countries with economies in transition, and least developed countries, reached its highest level ever, $11.7 billion,” Ms. Faremo noted.  

Ms. Faremo underscored UNOPS continuing commitment to gender parity and recent growth in this area: “Since we spoke in June, for the first time in UNOPS history, 60 per cent of ‘new hires’ have been women.”

The session ended with an interactive dialogue with Member States on the topic of quality infrastructure. Participants came from the University of Oxford, the respective Permanent Missions of Botswana and Japan, an engineering representative from Bangladesh, the Executive Board, as well as UNOPS.

With climate change at the forefront of many discussions on Agenda 2030, the interactive dialogue focused on the importance of resilience in infrastructure projects, the need to protect development gains, innovative financing and, overall, the importance of infrastructure underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We need quality infrastructure that is climate-resilient, as well as sustainable and inclusive,” Ms. Faremo told the audience. 

Read Ms. Faremo’s full statement.

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