Podgorica, 10 March 2014
President of Montenegro Filip Vujanović and Deputy UN Secretary-General Jan Eliasson officially opened the UN Eco House, the first of its kind in the region. The building brings together UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR and IOM to work under one roof within the Delivering as One framework.
A one-floor so-called “smart” building, is conceptualised to combine energy-efficient, environmentally friendly technology and modern design, and it smoothly fits in the landscape between the two bridges on the river Morača.
Addressing guests at the opening of the building, President Vujanović highlighted uniqueness of the building. “Besides being located on an excellent position on the shore of Morača river, the building with its unique ecological and energetic profile, is fully sustainable what reflects the work of the United Nations. I am sure that the work of the UN team in the country will be even more efficient in this building,“ said President Vujanović reiterating Montenegro’s valuable partnership between Montenegro and the UN.
President Vujanović particularly thanked to the intiators of the idea of UN eco house - former Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs Miodrag Vlahović, former UN Resident Coordinator a.i. to Montenegro Garret Tankosić Kelly and former ambassador of Austria Gerhard Jandl.
The Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who paid a visit to Montenegro especially for the occasion of opening the UN Eco building, stressed out two main pillars of this initiative.
“The first pillar is commitment of Montenegro to be an ecological state, as enshrined in its Constitution, and this Eco building clearly illustrates commitment of this state to sustainable development. The second pillar is commitment of the United Nations to provide support to Montenegro in its efforts to advance quality of life for its citizens and to expand their opportunities,” Eliasson underlined.
The UN Eco Building in Podgorica was designed by the architect Daniel Fügenschuh and architectural bureau King Shaw, while the construction works were coordinated by the Directorate for Public Works of Montenegro. Construction of the building was financed by the Government of Montenegro in the amount of 3.5 million Euros.
The cornerstone was laid in September 2010 by the UN Development Group Chair Helen Clark and the Prime Minister Milo Djukanović.
The Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson expressed gratitude to Government of Montenegro for funding the construction of the building and to Municipality of Podgorica for allocating the land, but also to all others who contributed to this endeavour that “will open new horizons”.
“I have no doubt that this house will enhance the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Montenegro and the United Nations, and will serve as a key place for generating new, innovative ideas for further development of the country.
The concept of the UN Eco Building is fully in line with joint commitment of the UN and the Government of Montenegro to work together under the UN reform agenda “Delivering as one” (DaO), through which UN agencies strive to work coherently to advance human rights and development of the country. As a sign of its full commitment to partnership with the UN, the Government of Montenegro designates the building to the UN agencies, as long as they are present in the country.