Podgorica, Montenegro

22 July 2012

UN Secretary-General remarks at Tour of Future United Nations Common Premises in Montenegro [as prepared for delivery]

Your Excellency, Mr. Nebojsa Kaludjerovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration,

Distinguished guests and colleagues,

I am delighted to be with you today.

I have just arrived from Croatia as part of a visit to all parts of the former Yugoslavia.

The region has suffered great trials and trauma – which we all know so well. 

But the focus of my journey is not on the past – even though we must acknowledge it – but the future.

So it is appropriate that my first destination in Montenegro should be the site of the future common UN premises in Podgorica.

This new UN Eco Building will reflect two United Nations priorities.

First, it will be energy-efficient … carbon-neutral … sustainable

Second, it will provide common premises for all five UN organizations operating in Montenegro so they can Deliver As One.

I thank the Government of Montenegro for its significant financial support in realizing this project.

The country is committed both to UN reform and to being an ecological state – this is in the country’s constitution.

The city of Podgorica, too, has been generous in providing this wonderful site and waiving all taxes and connection fees.

And the Austrian Development Agency has been instrumental -- providing funding and supporting the competition for the design of this cutting-edge facility.

The new UN Shared Eco Premises will use solar panels floating above the roof slab for shade while providing enough energy to meet the building's annual energy demands.

Water from the River Moraca will be used to cool the building in summer and heat it in the winter, aided by a solar-powered heat pump.

And the perforated roof slab will provide natural light and ventilation.

I think the UN’s 60 staff in Montenegro will have a wonderful new base to Deliver As One for the benefit of the people of Montenegro.

I thank you for the opportunity to visit.