The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS marks 25 years of supporting sustainable development

On the organization’s 25th birthday, UNOPS doubles down on its commitment to helping partners achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the ‘decade of action’ ahead.

“Over the past 25 years, UNOPS has made a significant contribution towards improving lives and creating new opportunities for people, communities and nations all over the world. For that, we are extremely proud,” said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.

“But there is much work to be done if the world is to achieve the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda. As we reflect on our work over the years, we also take the opportunity to look ahead to this decade of action and reaffirm UNOPS focus on helping make the 2030 Agenda a reality, in every way that we can,” she added.

Since the organization was formed in the mid-1990s, UNOPS has evolved from a once small department of the UN Development Programme to a fully independent UN organization that now delivers around $2 billion worth of sustainable development projects on behalf of its partners annually. In 2019, UNOPS was present in more than 80 countries around the world, working with partners including governments, the UN and the private sector.

UNOPS has always focused on helping to improve people’s lives in a practical sense – supporting partners’ efforts to bring peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions to some of the world’s most challenging environments.

The scale and ambition of the SDGs mean that we all need to work together to find the solutions needed to our world’s biggest challenges, including climate change.”

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

More recently, the organization has sought to expand its contribution towards these efforts. This includes several initiatives that aim to attract private sector investment into development projects, as well as facilitate the innovation needed to drive the SDGs forward.

UNOPS manages its Social Impact Investing Initiative (S3I) from its new base in Helsinki, Finland while a string of Global Innovation Centres were launched last year in Antigua and Barbuda, Sweden and Japan. Together, they form part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to foster bold new partnerships and collaborations with the private sector to help achieve the 2030 Agenda.

“This year marks the beginning of what the UN Secretary-General has rightly labelled the ‘decade of action’ – 10 years for the world to make some very big leaps forward to achieve the 17 SDGs,” said Ms. Faremo.


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