King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden this week paid an official visit to the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi to consolidate Swedish cooperation with UN-HABITAT and the UN environment programme, UNEP.
The royal couple was given a red-carpet welcome by Mr. Klaus Toepfer, who serves as Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) and Executive Director of UNEP, and UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
Mrs. Tibaijuka told them that rapid urbanization in the world had reached the point where some 1 billion people world-wide were now living in slums, mainly because more people than ever before were leaving the countryside in quest of better opportunities in town.
Explaining various UN-HABITAT programmes and projects, she thanked Sweden for the support extended to UN-HABITAT especially in the area of water education. She said the agency was always exploring partnerships with international financial institutions as well as regional development banks. King Carl Gustaf XVI expressed particular interest in the educative work of the organization and projects linking rural to urban development.