UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named a career Brazilian diplomat to advance the United Nations disarmament agenda and a respected United States architect to oversee the US$ 1.9 billion renovation project of the world body's New York Headquarters.
Sergio de Queiroz Duarte – a 48-year veteran of the Brazilian Foreign Service with extensive experience in the field of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation – has been appointed as the High Representative for Disarmament, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.
As High Representative, Mr. Duarte, who has also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will head the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, the successor to the Department for Disarmament Affairs.
The Secretary-General first proposed the post earlier this year, recognizing the need for a more focused effort to revitalize the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda following setbacks such as the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament, as well as the need for new impetus for the entry into force of the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.Â Â
The appointment of Michael Adlerstein of the United States as Executive Director of the Capital Master Plan, the spokesperson stated, will enable the UN to move forward with the refurbishment of the Organization's New York Headquarters complex.
Mr. Adlerstein was most recently the Vice President and Architect of The New York Botanical Garden.Â During a long and distinguished career with the United States Department of Interior, he oversaw the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.Â He also worked as a State Department consultant on numerous projects including the preservation of the Taj Mahal.
The renovations under the Capital Master Plan, which will take place over the next seven years, are expected to make the main UN Headquarters buildings more energy efficient and eliminate safety and health risks.
The buildings have not been significantly improved or maintained since they were constructed in 1949 and 1950, making them extremely energy inefficient and costing the UN more than US$ 30 million a year in energy costs alone.