The Vice-Mayor of Beijing Municipality, Mr. Zhihua Liu, visited UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi on Monday and held talks with Mr. Daniel Biau, Deputy Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, and other senior officials of the organization.
The Vice-Mayor said Beijing was ready to provide technical and material assistance to rehabilitate cities stricken by the Tsunami disaster. Mr. Biau briefed Mr. Liu and his group on the major activities of UN-HABITAT, such as the newly-established Slum Upgrading Facility designed to support the mobilization of local funds for upgrading slums and providing infrastructure in cities of the developing world. He also explained the Water for Asian Cities Programme.
Mr. Liu said the Beijing municipal government had decided to tap the full use of existing sports facilities through renovations, and use part of the money originally allocated to build new and grand sport stadiums for the improvement of the environment and infrastructure so that the living conditions and environmental quality are greatly improved after the Olympic games to be held in Beijing in 2008. He said he was interested in starting work with UN-HABITAT in urban planning, urban development and municipal services.
Mr. Biau invited Beijing to participate at a workshop on Social Housing in Transition Countries to be held in Hungary later this year to share Beijing’s experience in improving the housing stock under the new market economic condition.
Both sides agreed that further meetings and consultations should be arranged to identify specific areas of cooperation based on mutual interest.
Mr. Liu, in charge of the construction of Olympic facilities in Beijing, was on his way for a study tour of Olympic facilities in Greece.