11 March 2019 – Grete Faremo speaks at opening day of the 63rd Session on the Commission of the Status of Women in New York.
At the UNOPS-organized side event, ‘Infrastructure and Sustainable Development: How infrastructure can better contribute to the achievement of SDG 5 and the advancement of women,’ Ms. Faremo delivered the opening address.
“At UNOPS, we are dedicated to improving the way infrastructure is planned, delivered, and managed to ensure that it is sustainable, resilient, and most importantly, that it is inclusive and gender sensitive,” she noted, pointing to UNOPS projects in Afghanistan and Kenya that worked to improve access for women to important health services and socio-economic opportunities.
Speaking to UNOPS work in Kenya, Ms. Faremo said: “Mothers in the target areas now have access not just to proper health facilities, but also adequate health services. Health care workers no longer have to deliver babies in the middle of the night with only the light from the torch on their cell phones.”
She asked: “If anything in the world should meet womens’ needs, it is maternity clinics. If they do not, people give birth at home, which increases the dangers for mothers and newborns of dying. The construction of clinics must observe dignity. We must protect mothers when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Ms. Faremo was joined by the Permanent Representatives of Estonia, Ireland and Sri Lanka, whom together co-organized the event with UNOPS and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Mr. Nick O’Regan, UNOPS Director of Infrastructure and Project Management, joined the side-event as part of an expert panel line-up. During his intervention, UNOPS officially launched its new infrastructure tool, sustainABLE.