UN inaugurates communications hub in SpainJuly 7th, 2011 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS
Quart de Poblet (Spain), July 7 (IANS/EFE) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe met here Wednesday to inaugurate a new UN telecommunications center to support peacekeeping efforts and other global operations.
The new facility, UNSB-V, is located in a suburb of the Mediterranean city of Valencia.
“Valencia will strengthen the ability for all our personnel to stay connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ban said, adding that improved communications “will significantly enhance safety and security for people on the ground”.
For too long, he said, the world body’s global communications had been handled through a single facility, the UN Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy, leaving the entire system vulnerable to mistakes or technical problems.
In his remarks, Prince Felipe stressed Spain’s “firm, active and permanent commitment” to UN peacekeeping missions.
Located next to Manises Airport, UNSB-V took six years to build. The Spanish government invested 25 million euros ($35.8 million) in the project, which is expected to generate 300 jobs and spur the creation of another 900 positions in the area.
The first UN base in Spain will double the world body’s capacity to communicate with the more than 100,000 personnel it has deployed around the world, according to the Spanish defense ministry.
While designed to function in conjunction with the base in Brindisi, UNSB-V is capable of assuming the entire communications workload if necessary.
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Tags: ban ki moon, brindisi italy, city of valencia, communications hub, crown prince felipe, day seven, defense ministry, efe, entire system, global communications, global operations, improved communications, mediterranean city, peacekeeping efforts, quart de poblet, safety and security, spanish government, telecommunications center, un peacekeeping missions, un secretary general