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ASSEMBLIES OF THE MEMBER STATES OF WIPO - page 68 / 69

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(expected to be available to WIPO in early 1999).  Additional space was also proposed by two alternatives:  the purchase of the P&G Building, or construction of a building for WIPO on the Steiner lot (it being understood that that lot would be purchased unconditionally).  The possibility of purchasing a satellite building in Geneva was also examined.

Responded to requests for additional materials concerning recommendations.  Met with representatives of the Steiner firm and representatives of Procter & Gamble to determine the best price for both the Steiner lot and the P&G Building.  The best price quoted by the Steiner firm (13.5 million Swiss francs as compared to the original offer of 14.9 million Swiss francs) was near the middle of the range of professional valuations undertaken, whereas the last price for the P&G Building (100 million Swiss francs) was far higher than the professional valuations undertaken.

Prepared documents for the Budget and Premises Committees, June 4-5, 1998, providing answers to questions on premises raised by certain Member States, summarizing specific premises-related issues, and proposing that the Budget and Premises Committees authorize WIPO to purchase the Steiner lot immediately.  Also proposed that the Secretariat make proposals for construction on the Steiner lot, for submission to a joint session of the Budget and Premises Committees on September 3 and 4, 1998.

Prepared for the transformation of the Mezzanine level of the WIPO Building to create two extra meeting rooms and office space for delegates and the press.

Studied the feasibility of an additional and larger conference room, with an architect’s advice.

Extended  existing rental contracts pending the availability of the WMO Building.

Located additional premises for rental.

Obtained and rented additional storage space.

Prepared plans, contacted the local authorities and pursued the tender offers for the construction of a temporary pavilion as a visitors’ center and exhibition area.

Results

The demand for office space in close proximity for staff members of the same program was met in most instances.

Progress was achieved in planning the future space needs of the staff members and delegates coming for meetings.

The pressure for more storage space was alleviated.

The General Assembly decided at its March 25-27, 1998, session to note WIPO’s urgent longterm needs for working places and for conference and meeting room facilities,  approved the conversion of the WIPO Mezzanine floor to be essentially for meetings and use by delegates and approved the renovation, modernization, connection, and extension of the WMO Building, those measures to be financed from the Special Reserve Fund for Additional Premises and Computerization.  The General Assembly also authorized the Director General to explore the purchase of both the Steiner lot and the P&G Building and requested him to report to the Budget and Premises Committees on his findings, to enable them to make a decision.

A small amount of additional space was obtained for the New York Coordination Office, whose transformation (in order to accommodate additional staff) was agreed, with the additional transformation work to be done in June 1998.

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