Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the 1st Regular Session of the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS for Opening of the UNOPS segment 2021 on 04 February 2021

I thank you, Madam President.

I thank Mr. Dainhi for presenting a comprehensive report.  I wish ED Faremo a speedy recovery.

Amidst the pandemic, the UNOPS staff globally have been doing a remarkable job.  Our deep appreciation to them; and my tribute to those who lost their lives in the line of duty; my deepest condolences to their family members.

Bangladesh’s journey with the UNOPS is just two decades old. Yet UNOPS has evolved as one of our trusted partners in many critical areas. We have benefited from UNOPS’s expertise and support in climate resilience infrastructure, especially in water and solid waste management projects.

UNOPS’s strength lies in its unique competence within the UNDS family in the area of building quality infrastructure; and this can be of critical importance now in finding innovative solutions as we build back from the pandemic.

I would like to focus on a couple of issues:

First, we are happy to note that the demand for UNOPS’s service delivery has risen significantly amid the pandemic. It speaks of the trust and confidence on UNOPS among development partners. How do you plan to cope with this high demand? What adjustments would UNOPS need to make in its next strategic plan in terms of capacity and business model?

Secondly, we share your views of enhanced importance of digitization for improving operational capabilities. There is no alternative to leverage on digital infrastructure, STI, and new technologies to put us back on the SDGs track. Yet in many developing countries putting in place a safe, secured, and stable ICT infrastructure is a challenge. What role can UNOPS play in bridging this gap?  If you can please share some specific examples.

Finally, many LDCs and other vulnerable countries have low productive capacity in infrastructure building. If you could share with us how UNOPS can contribute to national capacity building of LDCs in this regard, along with other UN agencies.

I wish to conclude by thanking and congratulating ED Faremo for her commitment and efforts to ensure gender mainstreaming across the organization.

I thank you.