The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Opening remarks at the first meeting of the Advisory Board of the Santiago Network

Opening remarks by UN Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director Jorge Moreira da Silva, at the first meeting of the Advisory Board of the Santiago Network, 18 March 2024.

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Distinguished members of the Advisory Board, colleagues,

A very warm welcome to this inaugural meeting of the Advisory Board of the Santiago Network.

This is a very significant occasion - marking a crucial step in our collective efforts to advance the progress on loss and damage caused by climate change. It builds on years of work by so many stakeholders, to address the impacts of climate change, advance climate action and call for climate justice.

UNOPS is proud to jointly host the Santiago Network secretariat, together with our colleagues at the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). We thank the UAE presidency for their leadership at COP28 - where this key consensus was reached.

And we look forward to combining our areas of expertise to ensure developing countries can accelerate their climate action ambitions.

Around this room we all know the urgency of the work to mobilize the technical assistance needed by vulnerable developing countries to support their efforts in averting, minimizing and addressing climate-related loss and damage.

The ability to bridge the implementation gap - to translate national and international climate aspirations into actions on the ground - is clearly needed now more than ever.

And this is where UNOPS can support best - with our focus on operations and on expanding our partners' capacity for implementation.

From managing multi stakeholder initiatives for climate action, to helping communities and countries mitigate, address and adapt to the impacts of climate change, we enhance our partners’ capacity for climate action.

We look forward to bringing this experience with us into this partnership.

The Santiago Network is about collaboration and coordination. It’s about connecting vulnerable developing countries with providers of technical assistance and support - whether it’s in the form of knowledge, technology or capacity building. It’s about creating the links needed to take impactful actions that benefit communities now - and in the face of a worsening climate crisis.

While the climate crisis is a shared challenge - communities around the world each have their unique context - and so it is important that we collaborate effectively to tailor our response to the needs and realities on the ground.

The guidance and knowledge of this Advisory Board is pivotal in this regard.

UNOPS is committed to bringing our operational focus to support the work of the Santiago Network secretariat, for a just and resilient future for all.

Thank you.

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