WHO Makes Headway On New Headquarters Building In Geneva28/05/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.World Health Organization members last week approved a plan putting the UN health agency on track to renovating its headquarters in Geneva, reducing the number of buildings from 10 to three by eliminating the various longstanding temporary structures (including the restaurant) and constructing a new building adjacent to the existing main building. The main building also would be renovated. The 67th World Health Assembly met from 19-24 May.The project proposes a new “low-energy, low-maintenance” annex building, and says that the three buildings will cover a smaller surface area than the existing buildings on the site, while retaining desk capacity at 2200. And 25 percent of the office floor area would be collaborative workspace.The Swiss government confirmed it will provide 140 million Swiss francs as a 50-year interest-free loan, WHO said, constituting the full funds necessary to complete the new building construction. Also, a piece of land owned by WHO will be sold to help finance the project, the WHO report said.Swiss authorities in February approved the release of 14 million Swiss francs, 10 percent of the total loan, to go toward the planning phase of the new building construction.It will be years before the new building is operational. An architectural competition will be held before the next World Health Assembly in May 2015, where the selected design will be presented with building specifications and a financial update. But a final decision is not expected until the 69th WHA in May 2016 on approval of the final project and acceptance of the full loan for construction.Last week’s Assembly approved the use of US $25 million of the WHO Assessed Contributions Fund (from governments) for “building up the reserve needed for capital financing,” referring to real estate.The WHO director general’s report on the Geneva buildings renovation strategy is WHA document A67/52 [pdf]. It includes sketches of the existing layout and the proposed new layout.The WHO Programme, Budget and Administration Committee, at its 14-16 May meeting, recommended the Assembly adopt the report. But it also urged that WHO learn from best practices and experiences of other organisations, and emphasised the need for an oversight process to mitigate the risk of cost overruns and ensure transparency. It also requested that future reports be more timely and contain more detail, to which the secretariat agreed.The recommendation was approved by the full Assembly last week. WHO existing buildings (figure 1) and proposed ones (figure 2). Copyright: WHOShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."WHO Makes Headway On New Headquarters Building In Geneva" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.