Germany’s new Permanent Representative to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Walter Johannes Lindner, last week presented his credentials to the Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
Mrs. Tibaijuka told the envoy that UN-HABITAT had been receiving great support from the German Government and that his predecessor, Mr. Brand Braun, was also a very active supporter of UN-HABITAT’s activities and programmes.
The Executive Director outlined the areas where Germany and UN-HABITAT had been cooperating including the Iraq Trust Fund, the Global Campaign on Secure Tenure, and the Cities without Slums programme in several cities in Eastern and Southern Africa. They have also collaborated on InWEnt, a project to ensure sustainable urban development and several projects with UN-HABITAT’s Partners and Youth Section. BASF, a German organization, is also assisting with tsunami disaster rebuilding efforts in Asia, while the Government of Germany supports the strengthening of the global monitoring and reporting of human settlements conditions. The results of this research are reported in the agency’s publications including the Global Report on Human Settlements 2005.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also thanked the German Government for its increased contribution to UN-HABITAT and was happy to report that Germany recently joined the list of top ten contributors to UN-HABITAT. She, however, called for more support to achieving the goal of voluntary assessed contributions by nations to ensure predicable sustainable funding for the organization.
Recalling her days as a Fellow at the Berlin Development Institute in Germany, Mrs. Tibaijuka stated that even though some developed countries have what may be referred to as slum-like conditions, these cannot be compared with what exists in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
On the situation in Kibera in Nairobi, Mrs. Tibaijuka stated, “UN-HABITAT is the only agency with an office in Kibera and we are going to be there until the slums go away.”
Responding, Mr. Lindner thanked the Executive for the briefing and said that he had heard a lot of good things about the Executive Director and about UN-HABITAT. According to him, “People in Germany are talking about what UN-HABITAT is doing,” and added: “We will campaign in Germany for more support for UN-HABITAT.”
“I am convinced that you are doing a great job and that UN-HABITAT is also doing a great job. This is the feeling in Germany and throughout Europe,” added Mr. Lindner.