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A Strategic Heritage Plan for the Palais des Nations

The discussions and decisions made at the Palais des Nations make a difference to the lives of people everywhere. The Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) - a CHF 836.5-million renovation and construction project - will ensure that the Palais des Nations continues to serve for the next generation as a safe, cost-effective and sustainable conference centre and as a major platform to support the UN’s important mission working for peace, rights and well-being.

The project includes the construction of a new sustainable office building, the comprehensive renovation and modernization of the historical buildings and the dismantling of the office tower above conference Building E.


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COVID-19 update: Following an order from the Geneva Conseil d’Etat for all construction projects in the Geneva canton to cease work, construction works of the new building and the Temporary Conference Facility were halted on 20 March 2020 until at least 19 April inclusive. The Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) team has been working with the contractors to close down the sites, making sure everything is safe and secure.

While the planning, design and procurement activities related to the SHP continue at pace and have smoothly switched to be carried out via teleworking, this will have an impact on both the start of the renovation works and staff moves. We will keep you informed over the coming weeks as we gain more clarity on the unfolding situation.

Modernizing the Palais des Nations is necessary to address the Organization's changing needs, tackle urgent safety and efficiency issues and bring the campus in line with Swiss health and safety, accessibility and environmental initiatives and norms. ​

Not only will UNOG make our facilities safer, more modern and more accessible for persons with disabilities, UNOG will make them greener and more efficient. Our electrical and water usage will be reduced and harmful materials that were used in the original construction will be removed.

The film featured below presents an overview of the SHP project which aims to renovate the facilities at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and to build a new permanent building on the premises. Building code compliance and greater accessibility for persons with disabilities are among the key objectives of the project.

Find out more films on the Strategic Heritage Plan project.





Show details for SHP News lettersSHP News letters

Hide details for Objectives, benefits and challengesObjectives, benefits and challenges

Objectives
  • Building code compliance
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Upgrade IT, broadcast and congress systems
  • Flexible, functional, optimize interior and conference spaces
  • Heritage preservation
  • Deliver within budget and on schedule
  • Business and operational continuity



Benefits
  • Safer buildings for occupants, rectification of fire safety violations, adequate fire escape and egress routes, and total asbestos removal
  • Accessibility and technologies for persons with disabilities
  • Greater energy efficiencies and reduced long-term maintenance cost
  • More efficient conference facilities
  • 25 % office space efficiency gains
  • Additional workplaces will allow the termination of expensive commercial leases
  • Overall cost avoidance for the leases of the premises outside of the Palais des Nations
  • Preservation of the historic site



Challenges
  • Maintain schedule and budget
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Multi-year account
  • Financing
  • Contracting arrangements
  • Change orders
  • Operational continuity during construction
  • Managing change



Hide details for HistoryHistory

The Palais des Nations, originally built for the League of Nations, is the largest United Nations conference centre in Europe. It is comprised of a historic building complex constructed between 1929 and 1938, and expanded in the 1950s, with a conference facility and office tower, the E building, added in 1973.

Every year the Palais des Nations is host to more than 60,000 delegates participating in conferences as well as over 140,000 visitors to the building complex.



In addition, work was carried out for energy saving measures made possible by a generous donation of 50 million Swiss Francs from Switzerland, the host country. The related works included repairs to parts of the roof and some of the windows, optimization of lighting, installation of solar panels, replacement of certain ventilation units and upgrading of the building management system.

Switzerland has also enabled the renovation of the Delegates' Lounge (2003 - 2006) and several Member States have contributed in recent years to the renovation of several conference rooms at the Palais des Nations, including Spain, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Morocco, Romania and France.




Hide details for Reports of the Secretary-General on the "Strategic Heritage Plan"Reports of the Secretary-General on the "Strategic Heritage Plan"

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013




Hide details for Related United Nations General Assembly resolutionsRelated United Nations General Assembly resolutions

A/RES/72/262
A/RES/71/272
A/RES/70/248
A/RES/69/262
A/RES/68/247





Palais des Nations photo gallery