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The Palais des Nations is home to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), which serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General in Geneva. It is a focal point for multilateral diplomacy and services more than 10,000 meetings and conferences every year, making it one of the busiest conference centers in the world. With more than 4,100 staff from the United Nations Secretariat, it is the biggest duty station outside of United Nations headquarters in New York. Once the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) – the renovation of the Palais des Nations – is completed, an additional 700 UN staff members will relocate to the Palais des Nations.

The SHP was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The project, which includes the construction of a new permanent office building, will extensively renovate the main Palais des Nations complex of buildings, much of which dates back to the 1930s. The historic buildings will be fully renovated, with priority given to protecting the heritage of the Palais des Nations, while modernizing the core building and conference support systems, improving working conditions and safety, as well as providing accessibility for persons with disabilities. The total cost of the project, scheduled to be completed in 2024, is 836.5 million CHF.

Strategic Heritage Plan Newsletter

The Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) 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.

The renovation, which extends over an area of 170,000 square meters, will include major modifications and upgrades to the UN’s historic buildings. A new administrative building will create an additional area of 24,000 square meters, including open-plan workspaces to accommodate approximately 1,500 staff members, terraces, and access to outdoor space on every floor for staff to use.

SHP Contracts

Project Progress

After three years of construction, the new office building H at the Palais des Nations is open for business.

United Nations staff have started moving into the new building as the renovation of the historic part of the complex housing the United Nations Office at Geneva progresses as scheduled.

A key element of the Strategic Heritage Plan, the multi-year project to renovate and modernize the Palais des Nations built in the 1930s, the new sustainable 24,000-square-meter building includes open-plan workspaces to host some 1,500 staff members, terraces and outdoor space on every floor.

“With the opening of this new building, we have achieved a critical component of the Strategic Heritage Plan approved by the General Assembly in 2015. It is an exciting step forward as the Palais des Nations undergoes a much-needed facelift to make it a modern workplace and conferencing facility that meets today’s standards in terms of safety and accessibility", said SHP Project Director, David Mc Cuaig. 

The start of renovation work in building S, A, and Section AB in June 2021 will see a significant proportion of the historic buildings closed for renovation. Renovation works to the section AC and building D are well underway and is already moving from demolition and strip out, to renewal and refurbishment. Already towards the end of the year, the first parts of the Palais will be returned after renovation allowing for other parts of the historic buildings to be renovated.

SHP timeline 2021.06.10 EN

The major schedule milestones for the project are:

  • To start, in 2021, to use the new building as swing space and renovate the historic Palais des Nations
  • To dismantle the “E” building tower once the swing space is no longer needed; and, finally
  • To complete the overall project in 2024.

This 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 permanent building on the premises. Building code compliance and greater accessibility for persons with disabilities are among the key objectives of the project.

Progress Reports on the Strategic Heritage Plan