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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #21
hkskyline
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UN renovation clears hurdle after US stands aside
By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 (Reuters) - A U.N. committee on Monday approved the next phase of a long-awaited renovation of United Nations headquarters after the United States dropped its opposition to some of the spending.

Washington let the project move ahead after Louis Frederick Reuter, who is managing the project as executive director of the U.N. Capital Master Plan, publicly warned last week that each day of delay increased costs by $225,000.

A resolution adopted by consensus by the U.N. General Assembly's budget committee authorized the immediate spending of $23.5 million for design and pre-construction work and the commitment of an additional $77 million toward building a new office building on a lawn inside the headquarters compound.

The United States had blocked the resolution for about a month, arguing it was premature to approve the $77 million before U.N. members decided whether the new building would be a temporary or permanent addition.

"We believe such a decision on strategy is critical before significant funds are approved for this project. Therefore we must disassociate from the consensus on this resolution today," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton told the committee.

Reuter insisted the work could go forward without prejudicing a decision on the building's ultimate status.

South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, calling the present 38-story U.N. skyscraper "aging and unsafe," said the delay had "deeply distressed" developing nations because it was running up the project's cost.

The Group of 77 -- a bloc of 132 developing countries, plus China, headed by Kumalo -- has found itself at odds with Washington over U.N. reform plans pushed by the United States following widespread mismanagement in the defunct $64 billion U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq.

The renovation resolution now goes to the full 191-nation General Assembly, where routine approval is expected.

The U.N. headquarters compound is one of New York's most popular tourist attractions. But after 54 years, it is riddled with asbestos and lacks fire detectors, a sprinkler system and other emergency safety devices.

The United Nations has been working for six years on a renovation plan for the tower. The latest proposal, estimated at $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion or more, has been scaled back and stretched out to avoid moving the whole organization into temporary headquarters while the work is carried out.

Because Washington pays about a quarter of the regular U.N. budget, the U.S. share could run to $400 million or more in the event of cost overruns.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #22
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Old October 27th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #23
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With 1.2b you might as well build a totally new building with state of the art facilities and in shorter time!
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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #24
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^ There aren't that many open sites available in Manhattan to start from scratch.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
There aren't that many open sites available in Manhattan to start from scratch.
I have heard it makes a mess on the streets when the UN is in session. If they require such security the building has no place in a dense urban environment.

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Old October 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #26
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Move it to somewhere where it wont get flooded from rising sea levels. Somewhere about 110 metres above sea level and well away from the sea. Somewhere like... Oh I dunno... Birmingham, England


I think Geneva is a good place. Not too sure about London or even UK at all.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #27
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yea thats alot of money to renovate. and i highly doubt it doesnt have a sprinkler system, or loses a quarter of its heat. somebody has their hand in the cookie jar on this one i bet.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #28
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Move it to somewhere where it wont get flooded from rising sea levels. Somewhere about 110 metres above sea level and well away from the sea. Somewhere like... Oh I dunno... Birmingham, England


I think Geneva is a good place. Not too sure about London or even UK at all.
The reason it was chosen to be in NYC or just anywhere in the US in the first place was b/c this was a country that allowed for vetoes when making laws.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 12:49 PM   #29
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How bout Shang hai? Might be the new New York..
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:03 PM   #30
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The UN is not unlikely to move out of New York. Rumours have come out now and then but nothing has ever happened. The UN does have a major campus in Geneva, so perhaps a more logical choice will be to move some operations there if the renovation does go ahead in New York.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:46 AM   #31
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New York, UN discuss possible peacekeeping cooperation

UNITED NATIONS, April 11, 2007 (AFP) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with UN chief Ban Ki-moon here Wednesday for talks focusing on possible city police cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, a UN spokeswoman said.

Marie Okabe, the UN deputy spokeswoman, said the UN secretary general and Bloomberg discussed possible contribution by the New York Police Department to UN peacekeeping.

"New York City has one of the most diversified police forces around," she said. "Getting police to join (UN) peacekeeping operations is one of the high priorities for the UN."

Okabe told AFP after the meeting that Bloomberg "was open to the proposal."

"But it was not meant to elicit an immediate response," she said, stressing that the discussions on the issue were "exploratory."

Ban and Bloomberg also discussed New York City's support for the massive renovation of the United Nations' crumbling New York headquarters.

The talks also centered on efforts to make the future UN headquarters more environmentally friendly and bring it in line with New York City fire safety codes.

Okabe said Ban had tasked the UN department of management to work with the New York Fire Department on ways to improve fire safety at the UN.

Under the plan, estimated to cost 1.87 billion dollars (1.4 billion euros), the UN headquarters complex, a major tourist attraction, is to be completely renovated beginning this summer to bring it into conformity with city health and safety codes while improving security.

The main UN headquarters buildings were built between 1949 and 1951 and have not been significantly overhauled or maintained since then.

The complex has a leaking roof, is riddled with asbestos and lacks fire detectors, a sprinkler system and other emergency safety devices.

Under the plan, 10 of the main compound's 39 floors would be evacuated at a time to allow the structure to be renovated in four stages.

Ten office floors would be leased in central Manhattan and additional space would be leased on Long Island to temporarily house the UN library.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #32
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Hell, move that sucker to Toronto. Americans don't deserve to have it in their country. Toronto was made for the UN. Toronto is a microcosm of the world with no dominant ethnic group. No major world city can say that.

Toronto isn't English, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Nigerian, Brazilian, German, American, or any one thing in particuilar. It's a bringing together of the world's people under the umbrella of tolerance and liberty. Toronto is what the world would look like if all borders were erased. Every religion, nationality, ethnicity, culture, race, or obsure minority is represented in this city. There's never been anything like Toronto in the world. What better place on earth for the UN?

Last edited by isaidso; May 25th, 2007 at 03:51 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #33
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General Assembly finally gives green light to start U.N. headquarters renovation
By EDITH M. LEDERER
24 December 2006

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The General Assembly finally gave a green light to start a $1.9 billion renovation of the U.N.'s landmark headquarters in New York after years of delays, a move welcomed Saturday by outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The 39-story glass-and-steel building, overlooking the East River, was considered modern when it was constructed 54 years ago but it has not seen a major overhaul since and now violates safety and fire codes.

Stressing its "serious concern at the hazards, risks and deficiencies of the current conditions of the building," the assembly late Friday night approved the budget committee's plan to refurbish the building.

The headquarters, designed by a team of 11 international architects led by American Wallace K. Harrison, has its gems -- the glittering green marble of the General Assembly hall, the shining horseshoe table of the Security Council chamber, a stained glass window designed by French artist Marc Chagall.

But the complex has no sprinkler system, is packed with asbestos and loses about 25 percent of the heat pumped into it in the winter.

The so-called Capital Master Plan will allow preparatory work to begin immediately on the phased renovation, which is to be completed by 2014 at a total revised budget of $1.88 billion. The assembly approved a $42 million appropriation for 2007 for the design and pre-construction phases, including finding space for U.N. staff who must move during the refurbishment.

Member states will have the option of paying for the renovation in yearly installments or one lump sum, but the resolution also asks incoming Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who takes over on Jan. 1, to explore private donor funding.

The United States will pay 22 percent of the cost -- the largest share -- which Congress must approve.

The building is expected to be renovated several floors at a time, from top to bottom, but U.N. officials say the first visible action will be a groundbreaking ceremony in June or July for a new conference facility.

The official in charge of the renovation effort, Louis Frederick Reuter IV, resigned in June saying he was frustrated by bureaucratic and political wrangling that have resulted in years of delay and massive cost overruns.

Much of Reuter's job involved trying to cut through U.N. bureaucracy and persuade member states to move ahead. After the repeatedly being waylaid, the Capital Master Plan cleared the U.N. budget committee this week -- and the General Assembly was the last hurdle.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #34
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palais_des_Nations

They keep it renovated with annual budget. That's more simple ! Swiss logical mind...
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #35
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Hm... I would not want to shock people, but there is big chance that New-York will be under water in the next centuries due to higher oceans, London is in same case between. Geneva will not be, Toronto either. Keep on dreaming about keep it in NYC !
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #36
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Hell, move that sucker to Toronto. Americans don't deserve to have it in their country. Toronto was made for the UN. Toronto is a microcosm of the world with no dominant ethnic group. No major world city can say that.

Toronto isn't English, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Nigerian, Brazilian, German, American, or any one thing in particuilar. It's a bringing together of the world's people under the umbrella of tolerance and liberty. Toronto is what the world would look like if all borders were erased. Every religion, nationality, ethnicity, culture, race, or obsure minority is represented in this city. There's never been anything like Toronto in the world. What better place on earth for the UN?
dude, quit being a homer. Seriously, Toronto is a great city with a ton of diversity, but your just making yourself seem like a moron by thumping your chest how Toronto isn't ..... and ending with American. First, America isn't called the melting pot for no reason, there are people from all over the world in America, especially New York. You act like America was founded by a distinct tribe or a few distinct tribes (like, for example, Anglo Saxons, Normans, ect. in England) when in fact the United States grew by attracting immigrants from all over the World.

Secondly, and more particularly, you list Toronto's diversity as a reason why they should get the UN, sure Toronto is very diverse, probably as much or more than New York, but you say this as if the UN is in the American South in a city like Atlanta or Charlotte. Fact is, it's not, and New York is hardly lacking in diversity. Stole this from Wikipedia, "Throughout its history New York City has been a major point of entry for immigrants; the term "melting pot" was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. In 2005, nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was foreign born."
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Old July 4th, 2007, 06:08 AM   #37
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Noted US architect to overhaul UN headquarters

UNITED NATIONS, July 2 (Reuters Life!) - U.S. architect Michael Adlerstein, who has helped renovate buildings ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Taj Mahal, will take over the lagging project to restore U.N. headquarters, the United Nations said on Monday.

Adlerstein, a New Yorker, will be the new executive director of the so-called capital master plan, a $1.88 billion plan to modernize the iconic 55-year-old skyscraper overlooking Manhattan's East River, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced.

The job has been vacant a year since real estate veteran Louis Frederick Reuter, also American, quit after 10 months in frustration at what he called the difficulty of working within the U.N. system and lack of support from major nations, including the United States.

The blue-tinted glass and steel 38-story structure, whose original architects included France's Le Corbusier, has been increasingly showing its age.

It has water dripping through its roof, toxic asbestos lining its ceiling tiles, no sprinklers in case of fire, and erratic heating and cooling systems.

Planning to refurbish it originally began in 1995 but no work has started and the project is not expected to be completed until 2014. The current plan calls for a temporary structure to be erected on the U.N. lawn to accommodate staff.

The General Assembly approved the necessary funds, a considerable increase on earlier estimates, last December. Ban has said he wants the building, which consumes $30 million a year in energy costs, to be "a globally acclaimed model of efficient use of energy and resources."

In the 1980s, Adlerstein directed the restoration of New York's Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where would-be immigrants to the United States once disembarked.

He also has worked as a U.S. State Department consultant on projects including the preservation of India's Taj Mahal. Most recently he has been architect for the New York Botanical Garden.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #38
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it was about time...
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:53 PM   #39
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Ban wants to speed up UN building renovation

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is proposing to speed up refurbishment of the iconic United Nations building to try to keep the much-delayed project within budget, according to a report issued on Friday.

On the drawing-board since 1995 but yet to start, the renovation of the nearly 60-year-old skyscraper beside New York's East River would be completed by mid-2013, three years sooner than earlier planned, if Ban's proposals are accepted.

In a report to the U.N. General Assembly, which must allocate the funds, Ban said latest estimates put the projected costs almost $220 million over the authorized expenditure of just under $1.9 billion.

To eliminate that over-run, his report calls for an "accelerated strategy" that would move more staff off-site during the renovation to allow work to go faster, U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas told a news briefing.

Almost 2,600 people would be shifted to other premises, instead of 1,100, while 2,200 would stay put instead of 3,700. Project managers are looking for office space in mid-town and lower Manhattan for those moved out, Montas said.

Work will begin early next year with construction of a temporary building to house conference rooms on the U.N. North Lawn, while work on the main skyscraper, which houses the secretariat, would start in early 2009, she said.

Ban's report said he would ensure that the overall budget of the so-called capital master plan "will remain at the authorized level of $1,876.7 million and that the projected cost increase to complete will be eliminated".

The blue-tinted glass and steel 39-story structure, whose original architects included France's Le Corbusier, was completed in 1950 and has been increasingly showing its age.

It has water dripping through its roof, toxic asbestos lining its ceiling tiles, no sprinklers in case of fire and erratic heating and cooling systems.

But the renovation project has drawn criticism over delays and waste that Ban has sought to act on since he took over in January.

U.S. architect Michael Adlerstein, who has helped renovate buildings ranging from New York's Statue of Liberty to India's Taj Mahal, was appointed in July to take over the project.

Later the same month, the world body signed a contract for construction management with Skanska Building USA, a unit of Swedish construction group Skanska.

Adlerstein's predecessor, Louis Frederick Reuter, quit after 10 months in frustration at what he called the difficulty of working within the U.N. system and lack of support from major nations, including the United States.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 01:10 AM   #40
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Hell, move that sucker to Toronto. Americans don't deserve to have it in their country. Toronto was made for the UN. Toronto is a microcosm of the world with no dominant ethnic group. No major world city can say that.

Toronto isn't English, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Nigerian, Brazilian, German, American, or any one thing in particuilar. It's a bringing together of the world's people under the umbrella of tolerance and liberty. Toronto is what the world would look like if all borders were erased. Every religion, nationality, ethnicity, culture, race, or obsure minority is represented in this city. There's never been anything like Toronto in the world. What better place on earth for the UN?
Holy shit. What's wrong with (a significant proportion of) Toronto forumers?
The civic pride boosting thing seem to have worked.
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