The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Statement by Grete Faremo to the UNOPS Executive Board
Under-Secretary-General Faremo delivers statement to Members of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS in New York.
At the First Regular Session of 2019, Ms. Faremo’s statement focused on UN reform, quality infrastructure, gender and UNOPS Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3I), among other themes.
On UN Reform, Ms. Faremo spoke to the work that lies ahead for the UN system: “We must all make changes, small and large, to make the UN better,” said Ms. Faremo.
“This will require a stronger culture of cooperation. The new Resident Coordinator system is key and it needs a sustainable funding arrangement. At UNOPS, we firmly support the reform. We are ready to share a unique experience of speed and efficiency.”
Speaking to the importance of sustainable infrastructure in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, Ms. Faremo focused on UNOPS S3I Initiative: “Through S3I, we are breaking down barriers.”
“Our S3I initiative is about accelerating investment in infrastructure. It provides opportunities for socially conscious investors to generate financial returns, while ensuring their contributions make a positive social, environmental and economic impact.”
Ms. Faremo gave the example of four projects - in Ghana, India, Kenya and across the Caribbean – where UNOPS recently signed agreements towards the construction of 330,000 housing units.
“These are sustainable homes, with energy-efficient solar rooftops. Construction work will include local materials, equipment and expertise, which in turn, will provide jobs – many jobs – to drive local economic growth.”
Referencing the intersect between infrastructure and gender, Ms. Faremo spoke to our upcoming side event at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March this year.
“At this year’s meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, UNOPS will focus on the role of gender sensitive infrastructure. This is a topic few discuss and we have found ourselves in a pioneering role,” said Ms. Faremo.
Ms. Faremo’s statement received remarks from Member States from Albania, Antigua and Barbuda – on behalf of the Caribbean Community – Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, the Republic of Korea and Russia.