The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Statement by Grete Faremo to the UNOPS Executive Board

Under-Secretary-General Grete Faremo delivers statement at the 2019 Annual Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS in New York.

“We continue to see increased demand for our services directly from governments. They are now our largest partner group and constitute more than a third ($685 million) of UNOPS portfolio,” said Ms. Faremo at the opening of Friday’s session, which came at the end of a week of meetings and events for UNOPS Executive Director, as well as Deputy Executive Director, Vitaly Vanshelboim.

Ms. Faremo presented UNOPS Annual Report to the Executive Board, detailing in her statement the organization’s standing on management expenses, gender and delivery in 2018, as well as its continuing support to UN reform.

She further spoke to the organization’s implementation work in fragile and conflict-affected states, where the majority of UNOPS work took place in 2018, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Somalia and Yemen.

Ms. Faremo also pointed to UNOPS work in innovation: “The UN must find ways to use ODA catalytically, to facilitate new partnerships, and to unleash larger sources of financing – public and private. We believe that our Social Impact Investing Initiative does exactly that.”

“Through structuring bankable projects in line with UN values and principles, and by putting some of our own reserves into the investable deals, UNOPS now has demonstrated its ability to open the valves for capital to flow into developing countries, at scale, to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs,” said Ms. Faremo.

During the session, a video of Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking about UNOPS landmark affordable housing initiative in the country at a recently televised address, was shown to Member State attendees. President Kenyatta praised the initiative as the "single largest housing project in our nation's history." 

Ms. Faremo then spoke about a similar project in Ghana, as well as plans to build affordable homes in the Indian state of Goa and across four island countries in the Caribbean.

In closing, Ms. Faremo spoke about UNOPS work in the areas of public procurement and infrastructure, and pledged commitment to doing its utmost to achieve the SDGs.

Read Ms. Faremo’s full statement.

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