BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 15Trend: The editorial staff of the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan magazine interviewed Ms. Freya von Groote, Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office in Austria, who spoke about the key vectors of UNOPS cooperation with Turkmenistan.
1. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the United Nations operational arm that implements projects for the United Nations system. What are the main challenges for UNOPS?
As a member of the UN family, UNOPS has the mandate, expertise and experience to provide project management, infrastructure and procurement support services to governments, UN agencies and other development partners.
UNOPS is a unique organization within the UN system. It does not receive contributions from the participating countries, but relies entirely on projects to cover its costs. This allows UNOPS to remain flexible and mobile to meet partners’ missions quickly and efficiently.
UNOPS has grown significantly over the past year. In 2020, we have completed over 1,000 projects in 80 countries around the world, totaling over $ 2.2 billion. We also have extensive experience in supporting our partners in Europe and Central Asia on a variety of projects, including supplying critical medical equipment and supplies, building schools and providing support for climate change mitigation activities.
We are delighted to be working in Turkmenistan and look forward to working closely with the government, the UN Country Team and other partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Turkmenistan.
2. UNOPS supports countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including through the provision of expertise. Please tell us about the prospects for such cooperation in Turkmenistan?
UNOPS is already working with the UN Country Team under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator to identify areas in which we can work with the government, UN agencies and other development partners to implement the Turkmenistan Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. Our projects and activities will focus on supporting the achievement of national development priorities in line with UN values and principles and UNOPS’s commitment to excellence.
More specifically, we will explore existing partnerships and initiatives in the country, including those in the health and climate change sectors. UNOPS will offer its global expertise and experience in these and other areas to ensure effective management of development projects, the creation of appropriate infrastructure assets, and the procurement and delivery of necessary goods and services efficiently, transparently and economically.
3. UNOPS successfully started its activities in Turkmenistan. What joint projects are planned to be implemented in cooperation with the government of Turkmenistan in the first place?
In the coming weeks and months, UNOPS will work to strengthen Turkmenistan’s health system and pandemic preparedness for the benefit of the country’s population and healthcare workers. Thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Japan, a strong global partner of UNOPS, we are implementing the $ 2.8 million initiative by March 2022. UNOPS will closely coordinate and work with the government of Turkmenistan and the World Health Organization to procure and supply medical equipment and supplies to 15 hospitals and health centers. UNOPS will also train medical personnel and provide a warranty service for optimal service and sustainability.
4. What sectors will UNOPS focus on in Ashgabat?
Looking ahead, UNOPS will work with the UN system, the government of Turkmenistan and other development partners to deliver its project, infrastructure and procurement management services in line with our mandate as a UN Operations Unit.
We are confident that UNOPS and the expertise we provide will make a significant positive contribution and enable us to establish a long-term presence in your country.
5. How do you assess the initiatives and projects of Turkmenistan in the field of regional and international transport, energy and humanitarian development in the context of achieving the SDGs?
Effective infrastructure and energy initiatives are increasingly important for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as for the transition to the green economy required by the Paris Agreement.
Accordingly, these national needs and priorities are reflected in the development plans, and the UN system is working to promote their implementation through the Cooperation Framework for Sustainable Development of Turkmenistan.
UNOPS looks forward to contributing and will work with the government and the UN system to improve efficiency in the areas of project management, infrastructure and procurement in line with its mandate and expertise. We stand ready to provide technical assistance as well as management capacity to facilitate the effective implementation and expansion of current and future initiatives.