"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.
Objectives, 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
Two construction phases
- Maintain schedule and budget
- Flexible work arrangements
- Multi-year account
- Contracting arrangements
- Change orders
- Operational continuity during construction
- Managing change
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.
Reports of the Secretary-General on the "Strategic Heritage Plan"
Related United Nations General Assembly resolutions
A/RES/69/262 Questions relating to the programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015
Palais des Nations photo gallery