Thank you, Mr. President.
I would like to also express our empathy and support for countries affected by Hurricane Irma. I would also like to thank the Executive Director for her statement and presentation of the UNOPS strategic plan. I would like to express our appreciation to the UNOPS staff for their valuable work worldwide, often under difficult circumstances.
As a self-financed agency, UNOPS holds a special place among the UN organizations. It has been among the first to adopt many important reform measures, including the disclosure of audit and project information online and quick to innovate to respond to member state needs and new development challenges.
We applaud UNOPS’ draft strategic plan for combining pragmatism and visionary thinking to guide the organization’s work. The plan guides the organization to continue to strive for greater success in areas of traditional comparative advantages, such as infrastructure project management, procurement, and transactional services while seeking new solutions, such as private sector partnerships and social impact investment. At the same time the plan also maintains a strategic approach, couching UNOPS activities in the service to the larger goal of promoting peace and sustainable development.
UNOPS’ prudent and pragmatic management practices are reflected in the proposed 2018-19 biennium budget, keeping expenses in line with expected revenues and maintaining a level of operational reserve appropriate for the risk profiles of its projects. We highly appreciate the transparent manner with which UNOPS presents budget information, capturing budget numbers in a succinct format that includes a resource plan. The expense categories that UNOPS uses to report expenses – such as staff, consultants, and travel – are very helpful for member states to exercise oversight.
On benchmarking performance, we encourage UNOPS to take on board ACABQ’s recommendation to expand its performance benchmarking efforts and to include detailed information in the next budget document.
In closing, I would like to reiterate the United States support for UNOPS’ work, and encourage the organization to continue to be “light and nimble” and effective using innovation to strive for excellence.