The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the European headquarters of the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, have inspected the ongoing renovation of the hall 17 of the United Nations Palace.
The hall is being refurbished at the expense of the UAE.
The UN Secretary-General and the UAE envoy were briefed during a special exhibition on the occasion about the work progress and phases of the renovation project. Michael Mueller, Director-General of the Office of the United Nations was present.
They also examined the graphics and construction designs on of the hall, which is one of the most important and the largest halls at the UN headquarters in Geneva.
Ban Ki-moon commended the work progress and what has been achieved so far. He referred to the great support being provided by the UAE and its leadership to the international organisation in all areas, as well as to the UN humanitarian agencies. "This is an example and a role model for all countries."
The UN chief reiterated the UAE's support to the international organisation to serve the UN humanitarian goals and promote its diplomatic work.
For his part, Director-General of the United Nations office in Geneva, said that his office plans to make the inauguration ceremony of the hall an important event in Geneva in recognition to the efforts of the UAE, and to highlight this achievement as a model of cooperation between the United Nations and member states regarding the maintenance of the United Nations building in Geneva.
"The implementation of the project was unique in terms of the delivery speed and coordination between the UAE and both the United Nations and companies in charge of the work.
Ambassador Al Zaabi expressed the UAE's pride in supporting the United Nations' activities to help the international organisation discharge its activities effectively. He stressed the UAE's commitment to accomplishing this project with full respect to the deadline, thanks to the UAE's wise leadership approach and dedication to excellence and meeting international obligations.
The visit reflects the keenness of the United Nations to demonstrate this project as a typical experiment in terms of accuracy, speed of delivery and good coordination among all parties involved in the project. The tour also aims to encourage other countries to share the same methodology in the maintenance of the United Nations building project, which the United Nations plans to commence in the coming years.
The UN Secretary-General told WAM: "I am so grateful for the UAE and its people for their continued support and cooperation with the United Nations in all fields, whether in support of peace, security and humanitarian assistance worldwide." He cited the UAE's fundamental role in the refurbishment of the hall number 17 of the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva.
He said he took part at two international conferences in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; the launch of appeal for humanitarian funding report and the World Future Energy Summit, adding, "These conferences were part of many contributions shouldered by the UAE to advance progress in these fields."
The UN chief emphasised that the renovation of the United Nations' hall blends beauty of the desert and the blue sky, which represent the UAE. "We aspire to these in our agenda of sustainable development."
Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the hall refurbishment project would be completed as soon as possible to provide a good environment for delegates to share views on peace, security and development.