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Manager of UN Capital Master Plan Resigns

Manager of UN Capital Master Plan Resigns, Citing Lack of Stakeholder Support

New York, May 4 2006 6:00PM

The manager of the United Nations Capital Master Plan, which aims to tackle the myriad environmental, health and security problems associated with the dilapidated UN Headquarters complex, resigned today, citing his frustration at a number of factors, including the “lack of clear support by many major stakeholders.”

Louis Frederick Reuter said in a statement that his decision to leave the UN was a personal one and although no single factor was responsible, the 62-year-old said he was “interested in building buildings not ‘selling’ them which activity has constituted the majority of my work over the last year.”

“I have been frustrated by a number of factors, all working together, including the lack of clear support by many major stakeholders and difficulties of working within UN practice as it applies to a large building project,” the statement said.

“I am also aware that the United Nations is at a critical point in its evolution – and that the time to work through those changes and challenges are likely, in the months ahead, to slow and delay many actions, including those required by the Capital Master Plan.”

Speaking to reporters shortly after Mr. Reuter announced his resignation, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was “very sad” about the decision, made by a “good man.”

“He brought lots of energy, professionalism, and creativity to the task. And I am sorry that he has had to leave because of frustration and a lack of major stakeholder commitment,” Mr. Annan said.
Last month, the General Assembly budget committee recommended authorizing over $100 million for a massive refurbishment of the seven buildings and 17-plus acres of the UN complex that is widely considered to be long overdue. At the time, the representative of the United States said Washington ‘disassociated’ itself from the action.

The General Assembly has not yet decided on how the refurbishment will proceed but further action on the issue is expected this month.
The Capital Master Plan aims to address what the Secretary-General has termed the “unacceptable deterioration, building and fire code deficiencies, deficiencies in modern security requirements and standards and environmental problems” that plague the New York Headquarters.


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