Inauguration of the United Nations House in Senegal: A Renewed Commitment to Multilateralism and Development
24 November 2023
This week, President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, officially inaugurated the new United Nations House in Diamniadio, Senegal. The event, which was also attended by President Klaus Iohannis of Romania, marks a significant milestone in Senegal's commitment to multilateralism, and affirms its key support towards UN activities in West and Central Africa.
The building, with its emblematic helical architecture, brings together the country's resident agencies and symbolizes the reach and convergence of the Organization's actions around "One UN", as promoted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
For many years, the fruitful collaboration between the UN and Senegal, while being a model in Africa, testifies to the mutual commitment to shared values of development, peace and human rights in promoting a better future for all.
As Ms. Mohammed emphasized, "this UN House is the expression of our shared mission of cooperation between Senegal and the UN to promote a future of peace, dignity and prosperity for the Senegalese people, the region and all of Africa".
The Senegalese Government's contribution, through the granting of the UN House, is a symbol of the spirit of Teranga, an intrinsic quality of generosity and hospitality characteristic of Senegal.
President Sall recalled that this building is a contribution to the Organization's strategy to create a greater synergy between its various entities in charge of operational activities for development, so as to improve their collaboration and efficiency.
In a regional context marked by challenges such as the humanitarian crisis, climate change, the consolidation of peace and security, the improvement of education, the fight against food insecurity and the promotion of health, this collaboration in the spirit of multilateralism, is more crucial than ever to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A significant ecological approach
The UN House project, which began in 2018, aims to create a central hub for the 34 UN agencies present in Senegal and the region.
Located in the heart of the Diamniadio, about thirty kilometers from Dakar, the capital, the building focuses on eco-responsibility and sustainability, incorporating innovative energy solutions and landscaping that connects the site to its local environment, along with state-of-the-art technological facilities.
Designed in the spirit of the "From Blue to Green" initiative, the new UN House embodies the UN's commitment to energy self-sufficiency and operational efficiency, with a transition to more sustainable practices. It makes optimal use of solar energy and features an advanced wastewater recovery and treatment system, enabling wastewater to be reused for irrigating green spaces.
A strong commitment to sustainable development and peace
Collaboration between the UN system and governments, as with Senegal, is essential to achieving the SDGs by 2030. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed stressed the need for universal access to clean and affordable energy, as well as the importance of education, decent jobs, social protection, and the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. This will require a much more ambitious approach to development financing, and a focus on the key transitions needed to accelerate progress.
The new 2024-2028 Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the UN and Senegal, focusing on food security and support for social sectors, is an example of this commitment.
The inauguration was also a festive occasion, led by the UN Resident Coordinator Aminata Maiga and was marked by the participation of various UN entities, and an exceptional performance by renowned Senegalese artist Baaba Maal. Among those attending were Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Sahel, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the UNOWAS Deputy Special Representative, Giovanie Biha, and the Deputy Regional Director for Africa of the Development Coordination Office, Eskedar Nega.
To learn more about the work of the UN in Senegal visit senegal.un.org