Mr. Carlos Lopes (left) and Ms. Fatiha Serour22 March, 2012 - A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) headquarters in Geneva between UNITAR and UNOPS – the United Nations Office for Project Services, marking the beginning of an exciting partnership. The memorandum was signed by Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Director of UNITAR, in the presence of Ms. Fatiha Serour, UNOPS’ Regional Director of the Europe and Middle East Office, on behalf of Mr. Jan Mattsson, Executive Director of UNOPS.

The Memorandum of Understanding aims at strengthening collaboration between the two United Nations institutions over the next few years, with a regional emphasis on North Africa. The main project to be jointly developed is the Green Jobs Platform for Tunisian Youth, which aims to help meet the increasing demand for skilled labour and business creation in the Tunisian green sector. It is hoped that the education of trained experts in the green sector will improve the employability of young graduates who will be supported in their green job search, while contributing to the development of green Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). A joint UNITAR-UNOPS mission will be conducted in Tunisia in early May, 2012 to explore further steps towards the concretization of this project.

Another path for collaboration includes activities in Libya, where UNITAR and UNOPS deem it is necessary to engage youth in gainful employment as part of the peacekeeping process. Further opportunities include partnering with UNITAR’s operational satellite applications programme (UNOSAT) in the field of geo-information systems, including activities in the field of agricultural development and socio-economic mapping.