The Urban Research and Development Institute of Myanmar (URDI), which opened on 20 January 2012 inaugurated its Exposure Training Programme on 20 February 2012.
The Minister for Construction, H.E. U Khin Maung Myint Delivers the Keynote Address at the Opening Event of the Exposure Training on Urban and Regional Planning on 20 February 2012 in Yangon.
The Opening Ceremony of the training programme was graced by the presence of The Union Minister of Construction, U Khin Maung Myint, the Ambassador of Norway to Myanmar, Ms. Katja Christina Nordgaard, the Deputy Minister for Construction U Kyaw Lwin, Advisor to The President of Myanmar , UN-Habitat Head of Agency Mr. Srinivasa Popuri ,and other guests.
A joint initiative of the Ministry of Construction and UN-Habitat, with the support of the Norwegian Government, URDI is located within the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development office in Yangon, established to carry out trainings and research in order to strengthen national and local government's capacities for urban planning and management, policy formulation, urban economy, sustainable development, urban risk management, urban-rural interrelations and related subjects.
URDI is part of a larger cooperation plan between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the United Nations, in their joint effort to enable development that is both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.
In his opening remarks, U Khin Maung Myint expressed his enthusiasm at the commencement of the Exposure Training, and his hope that it will provide trainees with insight and practical knowledge on planning and development issues, which they can later utilize within their agencies. The minister stated that, as Myanmar is likely to see a rapid increase in urbanization patterns in the near future, it is the government's responsibility to "upgrade the living conditions of the people within their jurisdictions through collaboration among concerned stakeholders"
Ambassador Katja Nordgaard said that ' As Myanmar has embarked on a journey of openness, democratization and social and economic development, it is particularly important to meet the challenges and risks of urban growth and urbanization, and I am very happy that Norway can contribute in this regard."
In the future, UN-Habitat plans to expand its technical assistance to line ministries with support from partners, according to Mr. Srinivasa Popuri of UN-Habitat who congratulated the Ministry of Construction on the opening of the training, saying that it was "the first milestone of the institute's many goals and objectives", and a significant one to ensure that urbanization in Myanmar occurs in an inclusive manner and in accordance with the government's National Development Agenda.