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Annan signs agreement for new UN premises in Bonn

Annan signs agreement for new UN premises in Bonn

Beginning an official visit to Germany today, the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, concluded an agreement on housing UN offices in Bonn and met with the country’s senior officials.

A spokesperson for Mr. Annan said the new UN facility – housed in former government buildings – will be based on a campus which is being converted into an international conference centre.

The complex, which is to be fully renovated at the Government’s expense, will eventually include premises for the headquarters of UN Volunteers, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, among others, spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York. “It is expected that the UN bodies will be able to begin moving in as early as next year.”

Earlier, the Secretary-General had met privately with German President Johannes Rau. Their discussions were slated to continue in the evening, when Mr. Annan and his wife Nane were to dine privately with President Rau and his wife Christina.

Also today, the Secretary-General met with the representatives of UN agencies, funds and programmes working in Germany. “While the Secretary-General was at the signing ceremony, Nane Annan met with Afghan women living in Germany, including entrepreneurs, students and academics,” Ms. Okabe said.