SEA/RC69/23: Management and Governance matters: Status of the SEA Regional Office Building
AbstractDuring its Sixty-eighth session in Dili, Timor-Leste, in September 2015, the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia reviewed and noted the preliminary report on the status of the South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) Building in New Delhi, India. In response to the concerns raised, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India invited the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) to perform a comprehensive analysis of the facilities. CPWD had constructed the SEARO Main Building and Confernce Hall Block more than 50 years ago. Their report, titled “Seismic strengthening of buildings at WHO-SEARO campus”, delivered in January 2016, agrees with previous structural studies of the same buildings conducted in 2001 and 2010 inasmuch that in their current condition, the buildings are not safe for use, in particular the annexes that present the most immediate structural weaknesses. While the Main Building and Conference Hall Block can be potentially repaired or rehabilited, they were constructed before seismic earthquake codes were enforced in India and are, therefore, not designed for a seismically vulnerable area such as New Delhi. The situation is exacerbated by the unsuitable ground conditions at the site, particularly during the monsoon season when the water table is high. As a result of the findings of the study commissioned by the Government of India, the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia discussed the issue with the WHO Director-General and government representatives and decided to start the process of moving the Regional Office for South-East Asia to alternative premises temporarily to ensure the safety of WHO staff at work.This matter was presented to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting for its review. Following constructive and supportive discussions, the HLP Meeting made the following recommendations: Actions by WHO Explore the inclusion of the discussions on the SEA Regional Office Building (1)reconstruction as procedurally appropriate at the 140th Session of the Executive Board. Follow the recommendations of the CPWD study on building a new, seismically safe, (2)cost-effective, green and emblematic “signature” building. Revise the Regional Committee Working Paper in line with the discussions of the HLP (3)Meeting and include any updates as they emerge until the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee. This Working Paper and the HLP Meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia for its consideration and decision.
Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health Organization. (2016). SEA/RC69/23: Management and Governance matters: Status of the SEA Regional Office Building. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/249594