An Honorary Doctorate was conferred on Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka in recognition of her distinguished contribution to welfare economics and women’s rights by Heriot –Watt University. Mrs. Tibaijuka received her award under the aegis of the School for the Built Environment.
The degree was presented to Mrs. Tibaijuka by the Honourable Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, during the University’s graduation ceremony which was held in Edinburgh on 13 July 2004. In her statement made to the assembled students, Mrs. Tibaijuka thanked the university for the honour stating that, in her capacity as Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, she had always been committed to fighting for the human right to adequate shelter as enshrined in the UN charter and other conventions. At the same time, in her personal and professional life, she had always been a strong supporter of the equal rights of women.
Mrs. Tibaijuka continued by emphasizing that in this urban millennium, when almost half of humanity lives in urban areas, one of the major challenges confronting urban planners was the urgent need to tackle the problems of one billion slum dwellers living without adequate shelter and basic services.In conclusion, Mrs. Tibaijuka challenged the students calling on them to commit themselves to the fight against poverty and injustice. In particular she urged them to help the international community meet the Millennium Development Goal aimed at improving the living conditions of at least one hundred million slum dwellers by 2020.
“Coming from a university dedicated to improving urban planning, the students of Heriot-Watt University are particularly well placed to influence the way our cities and towns are managed. I therefore call upon them to use their skills to improving the living conditions of the urban poor.”
Heriot-Watt University specialises in science, engineering, business management, languages, textiles and design and has a reputation for innovative education and leading edge practical research. It has over 6,500 students on its campus in Scotland and a further 10,000 students on distance learning programmes. For further information please refer to http://www.hw.ac.uk/