Significant progress has been made on the SHP in 2015. As well as a comprehensive renovation of the Palais des Nations building complex, the project will see the construction of a new building and the dismantling of the upper seven floors of the “E” building office tower.
In June, the Director-General selected the design and location of the new building, which will be built next to the current “E” building. In-depth site assessments and surveys have been completed, as well as the design master plan, feasibility study, and concept design. Work has now started on the detailed design of the new building and the renovation of the “A” and “B” buildings. The SHP team is engaged in an extensive consultative process with staff, management and other stakeholders in the development of the design to ensure that the project meets all functional requirements and will provide a safer and more functional facility, efficient and accessible for the important work happening in Geneva.
In accordance with direction from the General Assembly to establish a robust governance structure for the project as early as possible, a provisional Advisory Board has been established, with representation by Member States from the Regional Groups in Geneva. In addition, a Steering Committee has been established that includes UN stakeholders from New York and Geneva. These two bodies have been established to provide important oversight of the project, as well as to provide advice to the Director-General in Geneva in his capacity as project owner.
In September, the Swiss Government showed its support to the SHP by offering an interest-free loan of CHF 400 million, a crucial contribution allowing the project to move forward on schedule.
What comes next?
The major schedule milestones for the project are:
- To complete, in 2016, the design and tender documentation for the new building, to be used as temporary swing space prior to final occupancy;
- To select, in 2017, a construction contractor in for the new building;
- To complete, in 2018, the design and selection of a contractor for the renovation of existing buildings;
- To complete, in 2019, the new building and begin to use it as swing space;
- To start, not later than in 2019, the renovation of the existing buildings;
- To dismantle the “E” building tower once the swing space is no longer needed; and, finally
- To complete the overall project in 2023.