The Rector of the University of Minho (Rui Vieira de Castro, left), the President of Guimarães Municipality (Domingos Bragança, right), and the Head of UNU-EGOV (Delfina Soares, right) inaugurate UNU-EGOV’s new building on 24 June 2021.
On 24 June 1128, in the medieval village of Vimaranes (today Guimarães), took place the Battle of São Mamede, a decisive event in the establishment of Portugal as an independent kingdom. Fast forward 893 years, to 24 June 2021, for a similarly stepping stone moment for UNU-EGOV: the inauguration of its new building.
When the Operating Unit took its first steps in 2014, it was hosted by the University of Minho in its new campus located very close to the historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A spot where tanning was done since as early as the 10th century, it became known as Couros (Portuguese for leather). Nowadays, most of the old leather processing buildings have been transformed into spaces for education, research, and creativity.
The new building offers more than three times the size of the current premises and allows the Operating Unit to grow further, as well as improves its working conditions. It has been designed with sustainability in mind, with a particular focus on natural lightning. The reconstruction works took about 1.5 years. It is now expected that the whole UNU-EGOV operation takes place here by September.
The inauguration featured the presence of the Rector of the University of Minho (Rui Vieira de Castro) and the President of Guimarães Municipality (Domingos Bragança), who signed a lease agreement, and the Head of UNU-EGOV (Delfina Soares), as well as members of the municipal assembly, the building’s contractor, and personnel from the Operating Unit.
More pictures can be found here.
On behalf of the United Nations University, I would like to warmly thank the University of Minho, the Guimarães Municipality, and the Portuguese Government for their continued support towards the growth of the Operating Unit. We have been hosted by the city of Guimarães since 2014, steadily increasing our presence and becoming more sustainable with each passing year, as well as attracting a fair number of international visitors here as part of our events.
The inauguration of our new building, which allows an increase in personnel, as well as improved working conditions, will certainly be a major step into strengthening the position of UNU-EGOV as a flagship institution on Digital Governance. Right here, in the heart of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will continue to carry on our cutting-edge research to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and support the United Nations Member-States. – Delfina Soares highlighting the major benefits of the new building.