Total UN procurement volume increased in 2008 by $3.5 billion, representing a percentage increase of 34%. This unprecedented growth in procurement delivery is primarily attributable to an increase in peacekeeping operations and the delivery of food stuffs. Agencies increased their procurement of goods by $1.5 billion and that of services by $2 billion. The 2008 data further confirm that the UN’s requirement for services matches and even exceeds that of goods, reversing the trend of previous years where the proportion of goods procured far outweighed that of services contracted.
The 2008 report analyses procurement from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and examines United Nations system performance in increasing opportunities for vendors from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Significant progress has been made towards achieving that objective (refer Figures 3-8 in the Executive Summary for more detail).
In addition, the 2008 report looks at procurement by United Nations organizations from vendors that support the ‘Global Compact’. The Compact measures engagement by the United Nations system with companies that take corporate social responsibility seriously, an increasingly important consideration in the global marketplace. While United Nations organizations give no preferential treatment to Global Compact signatories, the volume of procurement with registered Global Compact vendors shows a modest average increase over the period 2006-2008.
The 2008 statistical report features, for the first time, an annual thematic supplement that focuses on current issues in procurement. The focus for the 2008 supplement is sustainable procurement. It includes an overview of the international debate on the subject, case studies and contributions from practitioners and international experts.
We live in a time of unprecedented global challenges, when vision and action to protect our planet are needed as never before. This is why I am so pleased to introduce this publication on sustainable procurement.