14 September 2015
Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, today expressed his deep appreciation to the Government of Switzerland for its continuing and indispensable support to the renovation of the historic Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The Swiss Federal Council decided on Friday that Switzerland (Confederation and the Canton and the City of Geneva), as host State, will extend an interest-free loan of 400 million Swiss francs for the renovation of the Palais, known as the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP). The total cost of the renovation, due to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2023, is estimated at 837 million Swiss francs.
“This latest offer of our Host Country is extremely generous. It improves the terms for the financing of the project. I believe that these new terms will greatly facilitate the UN General Assembly's review of the project and its financing this autumn in New York, and will be a crucial factor for the project to move forward on schedule,” Mr. Møller said.
“The Palais des Nations is not only the historical heritage of Geneva and Switzerland, but of the whole world, and its renovation is a responsibility that we all take very seriously. Built in the 1930s, the Palais des Nations has never been completely renovated, and urgent repairs are needed. We must invest in this renovation now to ensure that it is available as a safe, cost effective, environmentally friendly, fully accessible and functional global conference centre in the service of the world for generations to come,” Mr. Møller added.
“Our host country has demonstrated once again that it shares this responsibility we have towards our shared histrorical heritage. This latest offer of support is yet another concrete example of the Swiss Government's commitment to this project and to International Geneva as a global centre dedicated to working for peace, rights and well-being for all,” he said.
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