Annual Meeting of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board: German-French statement on UNOPS

Jun 3, 2013

(Statement as delivered on behalf of France and Germany by Jürgen Schmid, Deputy Head of Division United Nations, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board) 

"Mr. President,

Executive Director, Members of the Executive Board, ladies and gentlemen,

I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of France and my own country, Germany.

We highly appreciate this opportunity to discuss the annual report of the UNOPS Executive Director and the new strategic plan for the period 2014 – 2017.

Let me start by congratulating the Executive Director and his staff for the results achieved in the year 2012. In our assessment, UNOPS is well positioned within the UN system and serves as an example of efficiency and sustainability to the wider UN System.

The annual report presented to us by the Executive Director highlights the results achieved by UNOPS. We appreciate especially the increased delivery in low-income countries and countries affected by conflict. This is a highly welcome development.

France and Germany also welcome the intensified focus on sustainability in UNOPS operations in 2012.

Mr. President,

France and Germany also appreciate the open and interactive approach used by UNOPS in the development of the new strategic plan. We are grateful that UNOPS listened carefully to the comments made by member states and other stakeholders during earlier consultations.

The strategic plan aims at making UNOPS an even more focussed, efficient and effective organisation, which embraces and incorporates the concept of sustainability into all its operations.

We further welcome the priority awarded to the principle of national ownership and leadership and the focus on capacity development. We are convinced that enabling societies and national authorities to lead their own development is an important factor to achieve sustainable development.

France and Germany would also like to highlight the role of UNOPS in the area of procurement. We consider that the current trend away from joint procurement by the UN system is inefficient and worrisome. The QCPR resolution of the GA contained a strong call for more harmonization and joint approaches in the area of business practices. Joint procurement seems to be for us an area where cost savings and efficiency gains can easily be realized. We would welcome if the expertise built up by UNOPS in this area would be duly utilized.

We would appreciate to hear from the Executive Director which role he sees for UNOPS in the harmonization of business practices.

Finally, we look forward to hearing more about the suggested new methodology for calculating the UNOPS operational reserve during today’s informal. In this contact we would appreciate to learn how Management plans to consult the Executive Board on the use of resources which might be freed up as a result of the suggested new methodology.

Thank you, Mr President."

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