ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

A Strategic Heritage Plan for the Palais des Nations

"The Palais des Nations is an important element of the heritage of Geneva and of Switzerland, but also of all Member States of the United Nations, and we have the duty to preserve and modernize it."
Michael Møller, UNOG Director-General

On 27 December 2013, UN Member States decided to allocate the funds for the planning phase of the Strategic Heritage Plan of the United Nations Office at Geneva, with construction work starting in 2017 and completion expected in 2023. (See press release)

A new film about the work of the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) project at the United Nations Office at Geneva has been created. The film 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 building on the premises. Building code compliance and greater accessibility for persons with disabilities are among the key objectives of the project.

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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Hide details for Two construction phasesTwo construction phases

The Strategic Heritage Plan comprises a planning period followed by construction starting in 2017 and completion expected in 2023.

New Building Phase

The first building phase on the campus is the construction of the new building. Upon completion, it will provide swing space during the renovation of the existing building. Concurrent with the construction of the new building, a rolling, incremental schedule of conference room renovations should occur in Building A, with an effort to minimize disruption to the working space. The expansion of the cafeteria dining room should also be set up to prepare the Palais des Nations for increasing occupancy.
  • Construction of new permanent building (beginning 2017)
  • Renovation of A building (conference and cafeteria)
  • Renovation of B building (historical archives)

Renovation Phase (2019-2023)

This phase consists of the renovation of the existing buildings and is divided into two parts.

First part of the buildings to be renovated:
  • Renovation of A building (offices)
  • Renovation of C building (offices and conference)
  • Renovation of D building (offices)
  • Renovation of S building (offices)

Second part of buildings to be renovated:
  • Renovation of B building (offices and library)
  • Renovation of E building (conference)
  • Dismantling of E building (office tower)

The diagrammes below illustrate the sequence of these phases.

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 is being completed for energy saving measures made possible by a generous donation of 50 million Swiss Francs from Switzerland, the host country. The related works currently being implemented include 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.

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

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

Palais des Nations photo gallery