President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon on Thursday formally opened a new office complex at the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon shaking hands with the President of the Republic of Kenya Mwai Kibaki, during the official opening of the green building at the United Nations offices in Nairobi © UN-HABITAT / Julius Mwelu
President Kibaki said the decision to upgrade the UN's home in Africa was a clear manifestation of the United Nations confidence in Kenya: "Indeed, the huge investment you have made in this new facility is a testimony of the confidence that the U.N. family has in our city of Nairobi and our nation at large," President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki emphasized that as the host to the only United Nations Headquarters in the developing world, his Government was fully committed to ensuring that the entire UN fraternity in Kenya continues to serve in a conducive and secure environment.
In his address, the Secretary-General said the new solar-powered facility specially designed to minimise energy use, was a leading example of the UN's efforts to maximize resources and reduce waste to spur economic growth: "This facility embodies the new, green economy I have championed for years now. An economy that can usher in a cleaner future, create jobs and spur economic growth," said Mr. Ban.
"UNEP and UN-HABITAT are leading in this effort. You are working hard to reduce your own carbon footprint. Today you formally open a facility that ranks among the most energy-efficient in the world," said Mr. Ban.
The new office facilities are expected to pay their own cost in about 15 years in terms of electric energy saved.
Mr. Ban, who also addressed the UN workforce based in Kenya, also used the occasion of his visit to launch his report on HIV/AIDS. The report, Uniting for universal access: towards zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths,comes 30 years into the AIDS epidemic and just months ahead of a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in June. For further details, click here.