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I do not do this often. “Dear UN: Much Belated Kudos!”

After alot of griping and whinging (mostly by me) – kudos to the United Nations.

After years of offering buy local services, proselytizing, and cajoling, the United Nations is well on way in the buy local approach. I am very much pleasantly surprised.

In July this year, we here at PDT (awful name) – were ecstatic to read the below in the new mandate of UNMISS – the UN MIssion in South Sudan.

Requests the Secretary-General, in particular, to utilize to the greatest extent possible opportunities for co-location of appropriate mission components with the Republic of South Sudan counterparts in the interest of building national capacity; and to seek opportunities to deliver early peace dividends by utilizing local procurement and otherwise enhancing, to the extent possible, UNMISS’s contribution to the economy;

But when I was in Juba recently four consecutive words were used a few times: “Global Field Support Strategy”. I said huh? One exists? I was on the “policy side” in the Secretariat once upon a time ago and had not heard of it.

Global Field Support Strategy.

I then discovered that the bureaucracy in New York has, while I have been away, lurched forward in a great leap. UN people in the field actually refer to this strategy, and appear to have actually read it. I was pleasantly dumbstruck. Read it here.

Here are some pull quotes:

  • The mission impact objectives are to: (a) Fully utilize local and regional investment and capacity;
  • Efficient use of global resources for field missions. The benefits of the model are economies of scale; reduced mission footprints; local and regional capacity-building, where economically viable; and diversification of suppliers.
  • In updating these modalities, the Secretariat will benefit the development of regional and local economies. In matching up equipment with the enabling human resources for mission support, an optimal array of contractual, vendor-provided and/or United Nations capacity will be utilized.
While all this may sound terribly dull, I can assure that local businesses in South Sudan, the DRC, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti do not find anything dull about winning contracts.

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1 Comment

  1. Hakeem says:

    Dear Mr. Rees,

    And as someone in Juba now, working for the UN, I see your blod in action…it is making a huge difference in the local economy…my only worry is once the UN and other partners wrap up their activities here. Luckily, or not depending on how one looks at it, that will not be for some time.

    Thank you for sharing.


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