Switzerland Backs Renovation Of UN Offices In Geneva14/09/2015 by 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.The government of Switzerland has decided to give a CHF 400 million interest-free loan toward renovation of the Palais des Nations, the United Nations headquarters in Europe. The CHF 837 million project is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2023, the UN said. Many of the UN specialised agencies in Geneva, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, World Health Organization, and International Telecommunication Union, are not located within the Palais but are nearly adjacent.Separately, the Swiss took a slightly different tack At WIPO today, telling a meeting of the WIPO Program and Budget Committee (PBC) that while it could be asked to make advances as host country to make up a persistent deficit for protecting geographical indications (GIs) and appellations of origin at WIPO, this would only be a temporary solution, not a funding option. A treaty on GIs was negotiated by some members at WIPO last spring, which triggered countries in and out of the treaty to bicker over a small deficit that neither wants to pay.The idea of having the host country pay was included in a WIPO secretariat list of possible options for resolving budget differences at WIPO, based on the terms of their agreement (doc WO/PBC/24/16, see item D.24 on p. 7). Switzerland is a strong proponent of the GI treaty.Below is the press release from the UN Office in Geneva (UNOG) on the Palais renovation:“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 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 historical 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.” Image Credits: WikipediaShare 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)Related"Switzerland Backs Renovation Of UN Offices In Geneva" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.