The 2012 Annual Statistical Report on United Nations Procurement (ASR) analyses procurement from developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and examines the performance of the United Nations system in increasing opportunities for vendors in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Significant progress has been made towards achieving that objective. United Nations procurement delivery in 2012 has increased by $1.1 billion over the previous year, representing an increase of 7.7%. In terms of procurement of goods and services, procurement of goods decreased by $258 million, while procurement of services increased by $1.4 billion over 2011. The 2012 data further confirms that the UN’s procurement volume of services far exceeded that of goods and thus reversed the trend of the previous years when the procurement volume of services had been declining.

In addition, the 2012 ASR looks at procurement by United Nations organizations from vendors that support the United Nations Global Compact. In 2012, the Global Compact exceeded 10,000 registered members. This section of the report measures procurement by the United Nations system from companies that embrace universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Procurement from suppliers which are members of the Global Compact continues its upward trend, reaching an estimated 22% of the overall procurement volume in 2012. Organizations of the United Nations system give no preferential treatment to Global Compact signatories, but strongly encourage them to subscribe to the Global Compact and support its underpinning principles.

The categorization of countries and territories used in the 2012 ASR has been revised to adhere to those used by the Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations. The report uses the following designations: developing countries, countries with economies in transition and developed countries. The designations “developing”, “in transition” and “developed’ are intended for statistical convenience and do not express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.

The 2012 ASR features a Thematic Supplement that focuses on a current topic in procurement. For 2012, the focus of the supplement is on balancing social, environmental and economic considerations in procurement. The supplement provides an overview of the benefits and challenges of sustainable procurement, as well as case studies and contributions from practitioners and experts globally. In the context of the renewed emphasis on sustainability in all development operations, this supplement is a timely reminder of the importance of the procurement function in this regard.

This publication has been produced by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on behalf of the organizations of the United Nations system. UNOPS is grateful to the United Nations organizations for their continuous support and contributions that make the publication possible. UNOPS hopes that this report provides useful information on the broad spectrum of procurement by the United Nations system. UNOPS continually strives to improve and refine the report to better serve expectations and objectives of government stakeholders, donors, the business community and United Nations organizations.