Sitemap

Michela Telatin Ph.D., UNOPS Serbia Multi-country Office Director

Gender Equality As A Priority

UNOPS is a project-based UN agency that has the mission of supporting people in building better lives and supporting countries in achieving sustainable development. For the last 20 years, UNOPS has been active in Serbia as one of the most reliable partners of the government and the international community

We are proud to have contributed to a more equal society and we are thankful for the trust and collaboration of all our donors and local and international partners, with whom these results were achieved and shared,” says UNOPS Serbia Multi-Country Office Director Michela Telatin.

What have been the major achievements and the greatest recognition for you and your team?

UNOPS’ continuous presence in Serbia for over two decades is recognition of donors’ trust, of the high-quality implementation of projects that respond to the needs of the country, and of a successful methodological approach that is participatory, inclusive and transparent. UNOPS is a project-based United Nations agency that has the mission of supporting people in building better lives and supporting countries in achieving sustainable development.

UNOPS’ mandate in project management, procurement, infrastructure, human resources and financial management allows for the designing of context-specific projects that are also shaped by the UN values and private sector efficiency. We are accountable to people, to the government, to donors and their constituencies, and we see – with our headquarters in Copenhagen and operations in over 80 countries worldwide – that the relevance of having UNOPS’ expertise present is recognised across the world by countries with different levels of income and challenges.

In Serbia, we’ve been contributing to socio-economic development by supporting small businesses, good governance, social municipal infrastructure and the strengthening of social inclusion. We are at the forefront in helping the country during emergencies: rebuilding bridges and roads after the floods of 2014; and now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting public procurement and the healthcare system.

Our greatest achievement is the tangible impact that our projects and actions bring to people’s lives, while the greatest recognition for me and my team is the continuity and relevance of our work.

The UNOPS Serbia Office has become a multi-country office, providing support to North Macedonia, Montenegro and Ukraine. How do you see the path of countries working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and EU accession?

UNOPS’ presence in a country is testimony to the United Nations’ support to governments in building their capacity to respond to the needs of their citizens. The projects implemented by UNOPS contribute to fulfilling regional and global frameworks, such as EU accession and the achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We achieve this through collaborative partnerships with other members of the UN family, the European Union, bilateral donor governments and international financial institutions, but also local partners and the beneficiaries of our projects. This inclusive approach starts at the design stage of the project and represents the backbone of our modus operandi.

All of the projects that you’ve so far implemented in Serbia have sought to build a better life for citizens and achieve sustainable development. Could you divulge how UNOPS is fulfilling its mission in Serbia?

Over the course of the last 20 years, UNOPS in Serbia has implemented a vast array of projects in infrastructure, procurement, socio-economic development, good governance, health, disaster risk reduction and the environment. These projects were made possible thanks to trust and collaboration with the Government of Serbia and many donors, such as the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Italy, France and other members of the UN family.

UNOPS ensures that access to infrastructure is inclusive for all citizens and is not an obstacle to gender equality

For instance, hundreds of members of vulnerable groups gained access to social housing and employment opportunities, enabling them and their children to live in dignity. Hundreds of entrepreneurs were able to launch or strengthen their businesses, while municipalities were able to attract companies thanks to adequate infrastructure. Children gained access to better schools and transport infrastructure was restored following the flooding. UNOPS also ensures that access to infrastructure is inclusive for all citizens and is not an obstacle to gender equality.

Gender equality is one of the most important cross-cutting themes of UNOPS’ work globally. How does gender equality contribute to improving the overall well-being of that society?

Gender equality is at the heart of development efforts and a priority for UNOPS globally. This is because gender equality represents the backbone of a functional society in which women and men have equal rights and opportunities to achieve their potential and the potential of their families and society.

As UNOPS in Serbia, we have enabled the implementation of approximately 300 gender equality projects and supported the adoption of gender equality policies by over 50 local governments. For UNOPS, gender equality is not an addition to our field of work or a simple mainstreaming: there has been a strong and vocal corporate decision to ensure gender equality is integrated into our workforce, project implementations, analysis of needs and monitoring. This is not just a temporary focus; it is part of UNOPS’ identity and actions.

Many UNOPS implemented projects have enhanced women’s skills and enabled them to launch their own businesses. What are the key aspects of the economic empowerment of women?

Gender equality increases the economic output of a society exponentially and surpasses the investment made by governments to support it. Indeed, it is not only an issue of human rights and dignity, but rather has a huge economic dimension.

Strengthening the economic position of women has long been a part of UNOPS’ efforts in Serbia, and each woman-led enterprise has a unique history of individual commitment, resilience and hard work. One of the hundreds of these enterprises is the story of a woman who launched her own private dental practice after losing her job; another is about a creative mother who wanted to bring colours into her child’s life and now owns a renowned clothing brand.

There is also a social enterprise employing vulnerable women whose homemade products are now being exported as their operations continue to expand. These are not just localised examples. They are a reflection of the potential of Serbian society that needs to be supported and encouraged.

We are proud to have contributed to creating a more equal society and are thankful for the trust and collaboration of all our donors and the local and international partners with whom these results were achieved and shared.

Related Articles

European Institute For Gender Equality 2021

Businesses Are Not Women’s Territory – Yet

The domain of political and economic power is one of the few areas in which the 2021 index of the European Institute for Gender...

United Nations 76th Anniversary Marked

Strong appeal for greater cooperation, green transformation and appreciation of lessons learned from recent crises, including COVID-19 On the occasion of the 76th anniversary...

Houlin Zhao To Visit Serbia This Year

Houlin Zhao will visit Serbia this year for the first time since he was appointed Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United...

H.E. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador Of Japan

Cooperation Based On Strong Cultural Ties

Although Yazaki is only the third Japanese company to invest in Serbia, the two countries cooperate closely on the international scene when it comes...

Syria: Carla del Ponte Quits Over Lack Of ‘Political Will’

Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said she was quitting because a lack of political backing from...

David Lahl, GIZ expert, Project Leader, Public Finance Reform

Sound Finances Key To SDG Implementation

The objective of the German Development Cooperation is to support the Serbian government in its efforts to improve good financial governance in the context...

UNOPS Projects Improve People’s Lives in Serbia

The partnership between UNOPS and Serbian government ministries is reflected in the preparing and implementing of projects related to improving people’s lives in Serbia

Danijela Fišakov, President Of The Slovenian Business Club

Equal Pay Is A Difficult Goal

There is no longer any area of management in which women have not proven at least their equality with colleagues but are not paid...

H.E. Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, Ambassador Of Russia To Serbia

Dialogue Is Needed In BiH, OHR Is Outdated

One does not need a chemist’s scales to understand that it was not the Bosnian-Serbs leadership that sparked the crisis situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, much...

Comment

Fostering A New Empowered Generation Of Women

There is a straightforward connection between technology and women’s rights that’s reflected in SDG 5 on gender equality, which includes a specific target for...

Zorana Mihajlović Ph.D., Serbian Deputy Prime Minister And Minister Of Mining And Energy

Tipping Point Year In Serbia’s Energy Transition

It is important for Serbia’s future that it not be a passive observer of energy transition, but rather an active participant in the endeavour...

Sunčica Cvetković, Head Of Business Unit Digital Grid At Siemens Serbia

The Growing Presence Of Women In Engineering

The Business Unit Digital Grid of Siemens Serbia has just received an award as 2021’s best team in the domain of digital grids in...

Realisation Of Project “EU For Green Agenda In Serbia” Begins

Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia Emanuele Giaufret presented today...

Roberta Metsola Elected New President Of The European Parliament

On Tuesday, MEPs elected Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) as President of the European Parliament until 2024, with 458 votes...

Government Of Serbia Adopts Set Of Draft Election Laws

The government of the Republic of Serbia adopted a set of draft election laws: the Bill on the Election...

Statement By The Spokesperson On The Referendum About Constitutional Amendments

According to preliminary results, voters who went to the polls on Sunday in Serbia to vote on amendments to...

Serbia Votes ‘Yes’ To Judiciary Constitution Changes

The Republic Electoral Commission held its second extraordinary press conference on 17 January 2022 at noon to announce the...