The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Anna Tibaijuka, presented Nasreen Mustafa Sideek Berwari, Minister for Municipalities and Public Works in Iraq and Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair of the Global Water Partnership, with the Habitat Scroll of Honour award during the 12th Commission on Sustainable Development. The Scroll of Honour is the highest United Nations system award for people who have made substantial contributions in human settlements development. Nasreen Berwari, Minister for Municipalities and Public Works in Iraq, was recognized for her commitment to the welfare of displaced and vulnerable persons in northern Iraq, This was during her tenure as head of one of UN-HABITAT’s offices in Iraqi Kurdistan, which assisted more than 4,000 destroyed communities and towns. Ms. Berwari accepted award on behalf of all those who had worked closely with her and the hundreds of thousands of families who took part in the reconstruction projects and benefited from the resettlement programme. Under the programme, 25,000 housing units were built, complete with water systems, schools, health centres, roads and other civic facilities. Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair of the Global Water Partnership, and a former Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), was honoured for her contribution to placing water and sanitation on the global political agenda. She has succeeded in raising awareness, particularly at the international community level, of the “silent emergencies” where a growing world population is reducing the per capita availability of water. The extraordinary growth rates of cities has been accompanied with enormous problems for residents of informal and peri-urban settlements in gaining access to water and sanitation. Around 6,000 children die each day because of the continuing crisis in water and sanitation, and through diseases, like diarrhoea and cholera.
“It gives me great satisfaction to present the highest UN honor in the field of human settlements to two outstanding women who have who have accepted the challenge of making the world a better place”, said Mrs. Tibaijuka.