UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka says that the partnership between the agency and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries was vital and called for strengthening of those ties.
In an address to ACP Committee of Ambassadors Sub-Committee on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs during its extraordinary session at the Brussels secretariat, Mrs. Tibaijuka said ACP’s support was crucial if UN-HABITAT was to achieve its goals.
“A partnership with you, representatives of the ACP countries, is very important to UN-HABITAT. Although we deal with one of the most important global issues of our time UN-HABITAT has little in the way of secure, predictable resources. Out of a biennial expenditure of $228 million in 2004/5, which in itself is grossly inadequate for the tasks we have to address, we only had a secure income of $16.5 million. We have to fund-raise the rest,” she said.
The audience included Mr. Jacques Obia, President of the Sub-Committee of Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural affairs of the Committee of Ambassadors of ACP Group; Sir John Kaputin, ACP Group Secretary-General and his assistant, Mr. Andrew Bradley.
Mrs. Tibaijuka said the agency’s latest Global Report, Financing Human Settlements carried many carefully considered assessments of the financial measures needed to address the Millennium Declaration slum target and prevent future slum formation.
But there were hurdles ahead, she said, recalling that the aggregate scale of financial resourcing required to meet the slum target had been estimated by the Millennium Task Force 8 in the order of 4.2 billion US dollars annually.
“Although this is relatively modest figure compared to say, the scale of global military expenditure, the sums made available to UN-HABITAT by comparison are puny and although we do much to leverage additional resources through, for example, our joint venture with the World Bank called the Cities Alliance, we have to maximize our sources of support wherever we can,” she said.
In his address, Mr. Obia, the Congolese ambassador, called for a strong support to UN-HABITAT programme and campaigns. He also recommended an immediate Tripartite ACP, European Union and UN-HABITAT Conference on the importance of the sustainable urbanisation in the ACP National Indicative Programme.