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UN’s body for Water Management (GWOPA) will be based in Barcelona

Depending on UN-Habitat, the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) has established the Catalan capital as the permanent base for its headquarters. GWOPA will set up its offices in one of the historical Art-Nouveau pavilions of the old Sant Pau Hospital, in Barcelona. These pavilions will host other international organisations, such as one institute of the United Nations University. “It is not the first and neither will it be the last organisation to choose” Sant Pau’s historical site to base its headquarters, stated the Catalan Minister for Sustainability, Lluís Recoder.

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03 July 2012 12:04 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona will host the permanent secretariat of the Global Water Operator\u2019s Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA), the United Nations body in charge of water management and depending on UN-Habitat, the agency dealing with issues related to human settlements worldwide. GWOPA\u2019s headquarters will be based in the historical site of the old Sant Pau Hospital, a group of Art-Nouveau pavilions that used to host a hospital. GWOPA offices will occupy one of those pavilions, which are earmarked to host several international organisations and thus transform Sant Pau Hospital\u2019s historical site into a pool of such institutions. This Monday, an institutional ceremony was held to welcome the decision. The Catalan Minister for Sustainability, Lluís Recoder, stated that GWOPA \u201Cis not the first and neither will it be the last organisation to choose\u201D Sant Pau  for  its headquarters. In fact, one institute of the United Nations University has already decided to settle in one of these Art-Nouveau pavilions in Catalonia\u2019s capital. The official presentation of the new headquarters brought together representatives from the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government and the Spanish Government.


The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, was \u201Cespecially satisfied\u201D with the news, which represents \u201Can extraordinary push\u201D for the old buildings of Sant Pau Hospital. \u201CWe are transforming this Art-Nouveau heritage into something with a public utility\u201D, besides being a tourist attraction in its own right, underlined Trias.  These pavilions were designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of the top representatives of Catalan Modernism, together with Antoni Gaudí and Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

The Spanish Deputy Minister for International Cooperation, Gonzalo Robles Orozco, stated that the Spanish Government has considered it \u201Ca priority\u201D to have Barcelona  as the base of this United Nations\u2019 organisation. In addition, Robles Orozco underlined that being able to base the main offices in such Art-Nouveau pavilions \u201Cis a luxury\u201D.

All the political representatives emphasised the positive cooperation among the different government levels involved  in reaching the goal of basing GWOPA in Barcelona. In addition, they emphasised the private-public support the initiative has received, since the companies Agbar, Comsa-Emte, FCC and the Fundació Fòrum Ambiental will bring a total of \u20AC400,000 to the project (\u20AC100,000 each). In addition, the Spanish Government will bring \u20AC1.1 million per year.

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  • Representatives from the Spanish Government, the Catalan Executive and Barcelona City Council at GWOPA's welcome ceremony (ACN)

  • Representatives from the Spanish Government, the Catalan Executive and Barcelona City Council at GWOPA's welcome ceremony (ACN)