It comes as PNG celebrates 45 years of independence and the UN its 75th anniversary.
The move will allow UNOPS to manage its growing portfolio in PNG from Port Moresby and consolidates UNOPS’ track record of support for PNG. For the past three years, UNOPS has supported the National Department of Health, including, more recently, with the procurement of medical supplies to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
UN Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla, welcomed UNOPS’ arrival saying the range of services and expertise that the agency brings will significantly bolster and expand the support of the UN Country Team to the development efforts of the government. “UNOPS has a proud track record of success in more than 80 countries across the globe and its contribution to the COVID-19 response here in PNG has been immeasurable,” said Rampolla. “UNOPS multi-faceted expertise in infrastructure and ‘at scale’ procurement will bring enormous benefits to the communities for which we work.”
The establishment of the office has been the culmination of a long-term strategy. Because UNOPS is a fully self-funded agency, any expansion into new countries must be very carefully planned and executed.
“We are excited at the prospect of being part of the United Nations delivering as one framework supporting the government of Papua New Guinea in the achievement of its development objectives,” said UNOPS Director in Thailand, Indonesia and Pacific Countries, Samina Kadwani.
“Globally, UNOPS operates under a best practice compliance framework to ensure the quality, resilience and sustainability of our services and deliverables. This is important for our reputation and for the viability of our presence here in PNG.”
UNOPS Country Manager, Ian Rector, said: “By being permanently located in PNG, UNOPS would now be in a better position to engage more regularly with clients and partners. Over the next few months, we will continue to meet with the government, UN Agency colleagues and development partners to facilitate the development of a long-term partnership strategy to serve as a pathway to plan and guide our interventions.”