Barcelona will have the first United Nations University (UNU) Institute in southern Europe and the Mediterranean and it will open in 2012 at the Modernista-style Hospital de Sant Pau, in the Sant Manel pavilion, which will have to be restored first before it can become the Spanish UNU headquarters.
This international centre, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Catalan Ministry of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise, will be the UN’s tenth in the world.
The Institute is dedicated to the Alliance of Civilisations, an idea which came from Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and which received backing from the United Nations, and priority areas for research and training will be education and the education system, youth, migration and the media.
It will offer postgraduate studies in social sciences and scientific research projects, as well as disseminating scientific and technological knowledge.
Before its starts its activities at the Sant Manel pavilion, the Institute will be presented to the UN Council in December. Then, in 2010, some academic work will begin.
The Sant Manel pavilion will therefore be the first building at the Sant Pau site to undergo alterations as part of the two-stage project to turn this Modernista centre into the International Centre of the Mediterranean: the first stage to be completed in 2013 and the second in 2016.
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