UN Procurement Seminar
Geoscience Ireland (GI) attended a two day Seminar at UN City in Copenhagen on 7 and 8 March. The event was coordinated by Enterprise Ireland. Netherlands Enterprise Agency and UK Government and involved over 100 companies (20 from Ireland) in learning how nine main UN agencies procure goods and services across a wide range of sectors. Minister Dara Callery TD was the keynote speaker along with the UK and Netherlands Ambassadors to Denmark, Emma Hopkins OBE and Nienke Trooster. Ireland’ s Ambassador Elizabeth McCullough kindly hosted a reception for delegates on the evening of 6th March.
The UN spent c $30Bn in 2021 on procurement, providing transport and logistics for Peace Keeping, Food and Children’s Aid and responding to climate and natural disaster emergencies. Examples include UNOPS, which spends $2Bn per annum, of which $62M in 2021 was for UK companies, $27M for the Netherlands and $11M for Ireland. Engineering and Construction services are procured by several other agencies apart from UNOPS ($323M) e.g. UNHCR, UNDP (£300M) and UNIDO. Projects are usually assessed on quality (60-80%) and cost. Tendering criteria were explained by a range of UN officials who also hosted over 400 one to one meetings.
GI Director Sean Finlay contributed to a Panel discussion on Getting Started with the UN, referencing a successful project by GI member Nicholas O Dwyer Consulting Engineers for UNOPS in East Timor. Commenting on the event, he said
” UN Procurement represents really significant opportunities for GI members in water, infrastructure and energy projects, and indeed for Irish companies in IT, education, agribusiness as well. The UN Copenhagen Seminar , superbly co-managed by Paul Maguire and the Nordics team from Enterprise Ireland provided an excellent guide for companies on how to win UN business.”