United Nations Office at Nairobi

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United Nations Office at Nairobi
United Nations Office at Nairobi Logo.svg
Location of UNOV within Kenya
Location of UNOV within Kenya
Location within Kenya
Alternative namesUNON
General information
Town or cityNairobi
Coordinates1°14′05″S 36°48′59″E / 1.234664°S 36.816472°E / -1.234664; 36.816472Coordinates: 1°14′05″S 36°48′59″E / 1.234664°S 36.816472°E / -1.234664; 36.816472

The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) is one of four major United Nations office sites[a] where numerous different UN agencies have a joint presence. Established in 1996, it is the UN's headquarters in Africa.[1]

In November 2004, the United Nations Security Council held a rare session at Nairobi to discuss the takeover of southern and western Sudan.[2] The meeting was convened at the urging of then-Ambassador John Danforth of the United States.[3]


The complex of buildings is located next to the Karura Forest in the Gigiri district of Nairobi, along United Nations Avenue. It stands across the street from the US Embassy in Kenya.

The UN complex contains a 'green' building, a completely energy and carbon-neutral building, housing UNEP and UN-Habitat offices.[4][5] The building is the first of its kind in Africa, recycling water and using natural light to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. In addition, the building is designed to use natural flow of air as a substitute to air conditioning, and it contains solar panels to generate all the energy that the building might consume.[6] It was opened on 31 March 2011 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.[7]

Burned Trees, a series of sculptures designed by Monegasque artist Philippe Pastor aimed at drawing attention to forest conflagrations, has been exhibited continuously at the office since 2006.[8]


The office complex can also be visited by the public, in the form of pre-booked, guided tours, provided by the UN Visitors' Service of Nairobi. Anyone interested has the opportunity to book a tour, during which one can learn about the history and work of the UN, while also getting an opportunity to see the offices, including the above mentioned green building. Tours are available during office hours each day, in various languages (e.g. English, Chinese, German, French, Kiswahili).

Constituent agencies[edit]

Headquartered at Nairobi:

Presence at Nairobi:

UNON also hosts the annual East Africa Model United Nations Conference for secondary school and University students from East Africa.[9]


UNON is headed by a Director-General, a UN official at the Under-Secretary-General level.[10] The incumbent Director-General, Workneh Gebeyehu, the foreign affairs minister of Ethiopia, was appointed in 8 March 2019.[11] Prior to his appointment, four other individuals had served in the position.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York City, Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna


  1. ^ "Welcome to the United Nations Office at Nairobi".
  2. ^ "Security Council Nairobi Meeting Welcomes End of Year Peace Pledge By Parties To Sudan Conflict". Un.org.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "New UN office in Nairobi is a showcase for sustainability". Greening the Blue.
  5. ^ www.standardmedia.co.ke (1 April 2011). "Standard Digital News : : Business – New benchmark as UN opens green building in Nairobi". Standardmedia.co.ke. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  6. ^ Recio, Eugenia (7 March 2011). "UNEP Showcases New Green Buildings in Nairobi – Climate Change Policy & Practice". Climate-l.iisd.org.
  7. ^ "New energy-efficient UN offices in Kenya serve as model for future – Ban". UN News. 31 March 2011.
  8. ^ United Nations Environment Programme: Philippe Pastor
  9. ^ "East African Model United Nations". Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Welcome to the United Nations Office at Nairobi | the United Nations Office at Nairobi".
  11. ^ http://addisstandard.com/breaking-un-chief-appoints-fm-workneh-gebeyehu-as-unon-director-general/
  12. ^ http://www.unon.org/content/previous-dgs

External links[edit]