UNON Director-General’s remarks for the re-opening of the UN Commissary, 13 October 2015

Mr. Jonathan Mommer, General Manager, International Duty Free in Kenya

  • Members of the diplomatic corps,
  • Dear Colleagues,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to join us for this special occasion -- the official re-opening of the UN Commissary.

As you know, the main part of our Commissary was closed for six months to enable our new duty free partner, International Duty Free, to refurbish the shop and fully prepare for its operations. During that period, we appreciated the limited duty-free items available at the temporary shop.

While the new Commissary started receiving customers a few days ago, today is the exciting day when the new shop is being formally opened.

I know that IDF and UNON colleagues have been working diligently over the past six months to get to this day. Planning and executing the construction and renovation work was no easy task, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for your efforts and hard work.

I would also like to thank our previous duty-free partner, Flemingo International, for the loyal service it provided to the UN and diplomatic community for the past 15 years.

 Flemingo was the second duty free operator at the UNON compound. The first, Jacky’s Electronics, ran the UN Commissary from 1996 to 1999.

Now, with today’s re-opening of the Commissary under IDF, we are entering a new era for our duty-free shop. I think we will all be pleased with the fresh concept and product line of the new shop.

This UN Commissary has been and remains a key part of the UNON compound:

It is a manifestation of the strong support of our Host Country, which allows both internationally and locally recruited staff to enjoy this duty-free privilege;

  • It caters to the distinct needs of our community and provides a selection of products that are not readily available in Kenya;
  • And it is also a good meeting place where we frequently bump into colleagues, some who we may not have seen in a long time, and some who we saw just five minutes

earlier in our own work areas. This experience reminds us that we are all part one community, working together in the same space, as one UN family.

We are also happy that the members of the wider diplomatic community are fellow shoppers at our duty free shop. Altogether, people from over 35 UN and international organisations and some 80 diplomatic missions are customers here.

And so, without further ado, let me welcome IDF to the UNON compound. I wish you all the best with your operations.

 It is now my pleasure to officially declare open the new UN Commissary.

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