I thank you, Madame President. I also thank the UNOPS Executive Director, Ms. Grete Faremo for her comprehensive statement on its activities and the upcoming UNOPS Strategic Plan 2022-2025.
We note with satisfaction that extensive consultations were undertaken with the Member States during the preparation phase of the current strategic plan. Furthermore, the plan aligns itself with the United Nations reform efforts and the principles outlined in the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of the United Nations development system. The new strategic plan has identified various areas of cooperation where we believe, we will be able to leverage our complementaries.
Many of the developing and vulnerable countries including my own country Bangladesh are suffering from the double jeopardy of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global climate change. In some cases, many years of hard earned development gains are reversed and poverty is again rising. Vulnerable countries will not be able to face this challenge alone. The ongoing pandemic has taught us how multilateralism and international cooperation can help us in facing a global challenge. Let me highlight a few issues in this regard:
First, the lack of quality infrastructure, especially in the areas of education and health was acutely felt by the vulnerable countries during the pandemic. During the pandemic, the demand for UNOPS services grew steadily. Learning from its experience of operation, the UNOPS may seek to equip itself to respond efficiently to the need for strengthening the required infrastructure, financing and procurement facilities in these countries.
Second, there is no alternative to leverage the digital infrastructure, STI, and new technologies to put us back on the SDGs track. UNOPS is required to employ its comparative advantage in building infrastructure for laying out secured and stable infrastructure for digital connectivity. It also needs to mainstream gender issues in investment decisions so that women and girls can reap benefit from these projects.
Finally, rapid changing climatic conditions are aggravating the livelihoods everywhere. We expect the UNOPS to facilitate appropriate projects in the affected countries to tackle these challenges.
I thank you.