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  • Monday, 11 December 2023

During a Bilateral Meeting at COP28: The Minister of International Cooperation invites the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Executive Director to visit Egypt and hold a Workshop with Relevant Entities on the Services Provided by the UNOPS for Joint Cooperation

At COP28, H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, met with Mr. Jorge Moreira da Silva, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in the presence of Ms. Dalila Gonçalves, Regional Director for Africa, as the office is the arm of the United Nations to provide services, project, procurement and infrastructure management for UN agencies, governments, and other companies.

During the meeting, the Minister congratulated Mr. da Silva on assuming his new position in March 2023, as Executive Director of the UNOPS, after a busy career leading the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris (2016-2022), and chair the secretariat of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC).

Bilateral discussions between the Minister and da Silva addressed the important role that the UNOPS plays at the level of member states, supporting international operations, projects and programs in various countries and the importance of expanding those services so that Egypt benefits in strengthening relevant national capabilities, managing development projects, quality of outputs, and sustainability of development impact efficiently and effectively.

During the meeting, the Minister invited Mr. da Silva to visit Egypt during the first quarter of next year, and the work team of the UNOPS, in order to hold a workshop and introduce relevant government entities to the services provided by the office, as well as to learn about the extent of cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations in many areas, including  investing in human capital, empowering women, and enhancing the principles of governance and transparency in development projects, as well as climate action, among others sectors, which address all societal groups.

In another context, the discussions dealt with issues of common interest, as the conversations touched on Egypt’s pioneering efforts, with the help of development partners, in the field of removing mines and war remnants, as the project “Supporting the North-West Coast Development and Mine Action Plan” (2007-2018), implemented in cooperation with the UNDP

And the European Union, where 1,950 square kilometers of land on the northwest coast was cleared, producing more than 270,000 jobs and creating the country's first prosthetics center.

It is worth noting that the second phase, funded by the European Union was worth 4.7 million euros, of the aforementioned project (2014-2018), led to the disinfection of 1,674 square kilometers and exceeded the set goal of clearing only 902 square kilometers. Through the second phase, the first prosthetics center of its kind in the region provided installation and maintenance services to approximately 170 landmine survivors. In addition, two mine risk education campaigns were implemented in 2015 and 2017 with a total number of 92,162 direct beneficiaries. The project also implemented a capacity development program to enable 4 local non-governmental organizations to manage revolving funds for small loans for landmine victims. In the same context, 215 families of landmine victims received support to start income-generating projects.

It should be noted that UNOPS has been at the forefront of efforts to address the global landmine crisis for twenty-five years, implementing numerous projects for the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the UNDP and other partners around the world. This includes supporting development partners in mine action activities such as landmine clearance, operational capacity building, and victim assistance in affected areas, through development initiatives and technical expertise in the procurement of goods and services related to mine action.