United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Economic Commission for Africa Carlos Lopes have hailed the opening of a new office in the ECA compound in Addis Ababa as a milestone for the organization and for its already close relationship with Ethiopia
and with people across Africa. Held on Tuesday, the inauguration of the new building is in line with the United Nations common house initiative, which aims to bring all UN staff working in Addis Ababa into the compound.
Being together under one roof means common services, economies of scale and the harmonization of our operations. Most of all, it means that the UN is better placed to deliver better results, said Mr. Ban. Addressing the guests, among whom were Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopian Minister of
Foreign Affairs, the diplomatic corps and country representatives of UN agencies, Mr. Lopes said that it was significant that the new building was constructed by Ethiopian companies and formed an integral part of the construction boom changing the face of Addis Ababa. Stringent UN safety standards were upheld in the construction of the new building.
The new office facility also introduces green technology and energy-saving features such as natural ventilation and solar positioning, which have virtually eliminated the need for mechanical air conditioning. The inauguration spotlighted increased strict adherence to standards of excellence and innovative thinking, which as stated by the Executive Secretary have been instrumental in last week;s UN 21 Award to the ECA Publication Unit, for its ISO 14001:2400 certification in the category of “Efficiency: Better use of resources as demonstrated by increased and/or improved quantity and/or quality of results at a constant or reduced cost, or through improved client service”.
While there were 75 remarkable entries submitted featuring projects of outstanding and exceptional quality, ECA;s submission proved unique in the way its Publication Unit used innovative thinking in its use of resources to service its clients.
The UN 21 Awards Program was established in 1996 by the Secretary-General to recognize staff members for their achievements in the delivery of the Organization’s program and services. The awards showcase new ways of doing business and honor colleagues who contribute above and beyond the call of duty.
The new office facility brings the total number of buildings in the ECA compound to 20, making Addis Abeba the UNs third-largest duty station in terms of real estate, after New York and Geneva. It will cater for growing demand for office space and increase the number of staff working in the compound to more than 1000. The new office facility will house the United Nations Office to the African Union, United Nations Mission in Darfur, United Nations Children
Funds, United Nations Office for Project Services, World Health Organization and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.