Dr Joan Clos, has completed his first official visit to Israel since taking up position as UN-Habitat Executive Director.
Executive Director Joan Clos with Israeli Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon © UN-HABITAT
The head of the United Nations' agency responsible for cities was invited by the Israeli Government to visit the country to learn more about its experience and challenges regarding urban development and housing for a very divergent growing population.
During the visit, Dr Clos met both with members of the central government and local authorities to understand better the model of urban development in the country as well as to explore possibilities for increased cooperation between Israel and UN-Habitat.
Dr Clos' meeting with Mr. Ariel Attias, Israeli Minister for Construction and Housing, focussed on the challenges of Israeli cities to maintain the quality of the urban services with increase cost of housing and energy.
Meetings with local authorities included the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai and a visit to the lively new port at Namar, as well as the Mayor of Rosh Ha'ayin, Moshe Sinai and the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Naomi Tsur and a field visit to the new planned town of Modi'in.
Dr Clos also met with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, both with Deputy Minister Danny Ayalon and with the Director of Mashav, Ambassador Daniel Carmon. The visit also included a roundtable discussion with representatives of the private sector at the Israeli Export and International Cooperation Institute.