Editorial – February 2021
24 Feb 2021

This is my first issue as Editor-in-chief. My aim is to continue the thrilling adventure of UN Today, which took over from UN Special a year ago with my predecessor Alex Mejia whom I would like to sincerely thank for having successfully guided the magazine during 5 years. More and more people are reading our magazine and writing to us. This enables us to raise issues that reflect your priorities and concerns.

This is why we chose the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) as the main theme for the February issue. The CHF 800 million + renovation project will force hundreds of international civil servants to abandon their offices for shared, open office space. From the outset, many of us have questioned the wisdom of such a move. The arrival of Covid-19 has compelled the major economic players and institutions to re-think the notions of the spaces in which we work and meet, according to the modes of contamination. This is a major concern and challenge for us all. Even more so since WHO says that the worst is yet to come for our health.

In this issue we offer you the point-of-view of different stakeholders involved: a staff member, an outside expert and the Director of the SHP.

Last year’s experience has taught us that the SHP is in need of review. The health and well-being of international civil servants should be an absolute priority. Claims that any changes occurring at this point in time will prove to be too costly are not acceptable. If nothing is done, the final cost will be infinitely greater, not just in monetary terms. Working from home is simply a temporary option. It is not a recurrent stop-gap measure designed to make up for an inadequate decision. Problems have more than one solution.

* Prisca Chaoui is the Editor-in-chief of UN Today.

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