The Governing Council closing ceremony opened with a performance by UN-HABITAT Messenger of Truth, the popular German artist and singer, Rolf Stahlhofen, of Germany, who is a strong supporter of the agency.
For Dr. Clos it was the first Governing Council, an event he later described at a news conference as a “runaway success”.
Taking her leave of the organization, Ambassador Inga Björk-Klevby, said: “What I see as the greatest achievement was being able to mould the organisation from a small centre to a full fledged Programme. We have also seen the debate on sustainable urbanisation being moved to the front, and I am happy about this,”
Ambassador Björk-Klevby, who graduated with a master’s degree from the Stockholm School of Economics, served as a diplomat for Sweden for more than 20 years.
During this period she served as Sweden’s ambassador to Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles and the Comoros and as her country’s Permanent Representative to UN-HABITAT and its sister agency, UNEP - the United Nations Environment Programme.
She later became Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden responsible for international development cooperation policies, programmes and budget. Just prior to joining the agency, she was Ambassador of Sweden to Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
She also held senior posts at the Central Bank of Sweden, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Ambassador Björk-Klevby was also an Executive Director for the African Development Bank representing the Nordic countries, Switzerland and India.
In her closing remarks at a news conference, she cited the goal of cities without slums: “Maybe we have not managed to get the right approach in tackling this but I know we will soon get there.”
In other highlights of the Governing Council, the city of Naples, Italy offered to host the sixth session of the World Urban Forum scheduled in September 2012.
Dr. Clos designated the movie stars, Ms. Ini Edo and Mr. Ramsey Nouah both from Nigeria, and Bollywood star Mr. Vikram Vinod, as the new UN-HABITAT Youth Envoys. Also named as a Youth Envoy was German artist Wolfgang Riegelsberger.
“The Governing Council was a huge success because we will be rewriting the Habitat Agenda for the 21st century,” he said.