UNECE to Open an International Centre of Excellence on Public Private Partnerships in Geneva
By: Geoffrey Hamilton, UNECE
On 19 April 2011, the third session of the Team of Specialists on Public-Private Partnerships recommended the establishment of a UNECE International Centre of Excellence on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Geneva. The Centre of Excellence will consist of a hub, established within the UNECE in Geneva, and affiliated PPP specialist centers (dedicated to one sector, such as, roads, water, health, food security, prisons, sustainable development, education, etc.) hosted by various countries.
The governments of the Netherlands, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia committed resources to the Centre of Excellence and confirmed their interest in setting up sectoral specialist centers in their country.
Dr. Enrique T. Ona, Minister of Health of the Philippines, declared: “my Government fully supports the creation of the UNECE International Centre of Excellence in Geneva, and is fully committed to the establishment of the international PPP specialist centre in health in Manila. Our objective is to increase our use of the PPP model in order to materially improve the health care facilities throughout the whole country. We are also aiming at developing a strategy on the promotion of PPPs in the Philippines, and at becoming a global repository of best practices in health care.”
Mr. Loay bin Ahmad Sa’ad Al-Musallam, Chief Executive Officer of the National Water Company of Saudi Arabia, declared that Saudi Arabia will not only support the creation of the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence, but will also host the international specialist centre on water supply and waste water. By doing so, Saudi Arabia will also develop best practices in water supply and waste water to be used as a vehicle to increase the use of PPP approaches in the sector in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Al- Musallam said that “the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence could be an excellent platform to promote best practices and to provide countries with know-how and knowledge to ensure the successful implementation of PPP programs”.
Mr. Alexander Bazhenov, Director of the PPP Centre of Vnesheconombank, which will provide significant financial resources to the International PPP Centre of Excellence in Geneva, said: “Vnesheconombank believes that the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence will promote mutual enrichment in PPP development to the benefit of all countries”.
Mr. Ioan Bala, Director General of the National Administration of Penitentiaries of Romania, declared that Romania supports the creation of the UNECE PPP Centre of Excellence, and that it has already identified the premises to house a PPP specialist centre on prison services in Romania.
Mr. Saad Ahmed Al Misnad, Advisor to the President of the Public Works Authority of the State of Qatar, said that the State of Qatar was very much interested in hosting a PPP specialist centre on a sector yet to be determined. He declared that Qatar sees “clear benefits in this initiative that will contribute to the successful implementation of PPPs internationally”.
The Dutch delegate informed the meeting that the government of the Netherlands was interested to host the PPP specialist centre on water management to operate within the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence.
Hosting countries have agreed to provide financial and in-kind resources to the International PPP Centre of Excellence in Geneva for a number of years in order to deliver the services that are being demanded by a growing number of countries in the UNECE region and beyond. Over the coming weeks and months, the secretariat is expected to conclude memorandums of understanding with hosting countries for a period of time which varies from three to five years.
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