Pohamba hands over UN House

WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Tuesday officially handed over the United Nations’ House in the capital to the UN Secretary-General (SG) Ban Ki-moon.

“I hand over this House with the wish and conviction that the relationship between Namibia and the United Nations will continue to flourish for generations to come,” said the Namibian leader.

He said the inauguration of the UN House in the Namibian capital serves to further cement the cordial and friendly relations which so “happily exist” between Namibia and the entire United Nations system.

Pohamba said the Namibian Government took a decision more than 15 years ago to provide office accommodation so that UN Agencies based in Namibia could operate under one roof.

This is in line with the UN concept of “Delivering as One”.

“It is a source of great joy for us that this project was completed as planned,” Pohamba said, adding that for seven years now, UN Agencies in Namibia have been housed in this facility.

“I am indeed pleased to hand over this facility to Your Excellency and to express our deep appreciation to you, and through you, to the entire UN family for the invaluable support that the UN system has rendered to Namibia over the years,” he stated.

Twenty-four years ago, the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG), comprised of soldiers, police officers and civilian personnel from various Member States and the UN Secretariat, was deployed in Namibia to facilitate the implementation of the country’s Independence Plan under the UN Resolution 435 of 1978.

“The dedication and commitment of those men and women helped to make UNTAG one of the most successful and enduring peace missions in the history of the United Nations. We shall be forever grateful that despite the complexity of the mission, Namibia was born as a free and independent nation on 21 March 1990,” he said.

“Today, we are proud that since we joined the community of free nations, our country has continued to enjoy peace and stability, and has become a beacon of democracy,” Pohamba indicated.

This has enabled Namibia to tackle the challenges of socio-economic development, with a special focus on tackling the vestiges of discrimination which relegated the majority of Namibian people to poverty and under-development, he said.