New York

17 December 2012

Secretary-General’s press encounter on his first day back in his renovated office on the 38th floor of the Secretariat building

Good morning everyone.

This is an historic day for the United Nations.  I am very excited to be back to this landmark Secretariat building after [being] beautifully renovated – the systems and the space, security features have all been transformed.  Now we have modern and eco-friendly systems.  I am very grateful to all Member States.  With this renovation, I believe that we can better serve the world’s people. 

Today marks a major step in the United Nations Secretariat’s renewal.  As you know, the United Nations has been leading by example in sustainable development.  With this renovation we have reduced at least 50% of energy and water consumption and 40% of carbon production.  Of course, we will continue to improve.

At this time, I would like to express our immense gratitude to all Member States of the United Nations for their funding and for their patience and for their strong support.  Under these financial difficulties – crisis time – every country has difficulty, but we are very much grateful.

We are grateful, particularly, to our host country, the United States, President [Barack] Obama and our host city, New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg – they have been extremely generous.  We will never take this gift for granted.  We will do our best to meet the expectations of the international community by improving our performance.

And I would like to also thank, particularly, Mr. Adlerstein, the manager of the Capital Master Plan and his very able team and also the construction company, Skanska, for their hard work to keep this very difficult project on time and cost effective.

And I also [offer] my gratitude to all of our staff who have been extremely flexible and patient, overcoming the inconveniences caused by this renovation during the last several years.

And, as we re-occupy the Secretariat renovated with state-of-the-art technology, I am sure that we will meet the expectation of working even harder.  And I sincerely hope that all of our staff members will fully utilize this beautifully renovated Secretariat building.

Thank you very much.