Room XX of the United Nations, the creation of a unique space



    Promoting dialogue and convergence through a taste for art



    A unique space where singularity can flourish

The Onuart Foundation

ONUART Foundations is a private, not-for-profit entity with public-private funding, supported by a broad range of national and international Patrons and Collaborating Bodies, incorporated on 24 April 2007.

  • To promote the presence of Art within the domain of United Nations and other multilateral fora
  • To favour understanding between cultures and societies
  • To promote principles that inspire the development of human rights

Vision: To drive forward, promote, fund, organise or collaborate in actions that contribute to the artistic and heritage enrichment of the United Nations and other International Bodies.
Mission: The mission of the ONUART Foundation is to enhance the value of art as a catalyst for dialogue. Through art, the Foundation stimulates debate at the highest level to inspire tolerance and understanding between Nations and cultures within all international organisations, seeking to achieve a more creative and less conventional approximation to each negotiation and each debate.

Origins of the Onuart Foundation

Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, during his visit in March 2005.

The Sert Room.

The creation of ONUART was promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, with the support of private and public partners, as a result of the visit to Geneva by Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía in March 2005. During this visit, United Nations asked Spain to make an artistic contribution to the Palais des Nations of Geneva. Thus was resumed an old and brilliant tradition of collaboration between Spain and multilateral fora, the first exponent of which is the Council Chamber of the former League of Nations, donated by Spain in 1936 and illuminated by the murals of José María Sert. 

On 28 February 2007, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Madrid to establish the terms and conditions of the comprehensive refurbishment project, to be undertaken by Spain, of Room XX of the Palais – which would later be renamed the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilisations Room. In addition to refurbishing Room XX, Spain undertook to donate a major artistic work to United Nations, which would be incorporated into the vast 1000-m2 ellipsoid cupola of this Room. The work would be created by a Spanish contemporary artist.  

Between June and October 2006, the ad-hoc Advisory Commission created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation analysed several proposals submitted by some of our country’s major artists. The shortlisted works were: “La Huella del Hombre” (Man’s Imprint) by Manuel Valdés, “El Proyecto Orgánico” (The Organic Project) by Miquel Barceló, “La Radiografía del Dolor” (Radiograph of Pain) by José María Sicilia and “La Esencialidad” (Essentiality) by Frederic Amat. On 16 November 2006 the Advisory Committee took the decision to award the commission to Miquel Barceló and his “Organic Project”. This ambitious project would be developed by the ONUART Foundation.

Our Patrons and collaborating entities

Chairmanship: D. Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé. 
The Patronato includes:
On the one hand, Institutional Patrons such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Permanent Ambassador of Spain to the United Nations, the General Directorate of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, the President of National Heritage, and the Director of the National Museum Art Reina Sofia.
In terms of business sponsors, we have OCP group, Fundación Bancaria La Caixa, Caja España, Abertis, BBVA Catalunya Caixa, Boumatou S.A. and General de Banque de Mauritanie.
As Patrons in their personal capacity are: D. Juan Antonio March, D. José Luis Bonet and D. Basilio Baltasar.
And finally as Collaborating Entities are Iberdrola, CEIM, Sa Nostra, Barceló Group, Ramón Areces Foundation, Ousseimi Foundation, Hotetur, Balearic Government, Junta de Extremadura, Junta de Andalucía and Principado de Asturias.

Corporate Patrons

Institutional Patrons

  • Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación
  • Ministerio de Cultura
  • Patrimonio Nacional
  • Museo Reina Sofía
  • Embajada Permanente de España en las Naciones Unidas

List of members of the Advisory Council

Mr. Michael Moller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

Mrs. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr. Rolf Dieter Heuer, Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Mr. Ján Kubis, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Europe

Mr. Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Mr. Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization

Mr. Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organization

Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration

Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development / UNCTAD

Mr. Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS

Mr. Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Office

Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union