UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka has praised the good working relationship between UN-HABITAT and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Mrs. Tibaijuka said that ILO’s approach to providing work for the poor is essential for slum upgrading and for sustainable urbanization.
Mrs. Tibaijuka made the observation last month in an address read on her behalf by the Director of the UN-HABITAT Office in Geneva, Sylvie Lacroux, during the 91st session of the International Labor Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Referring the 2003 ILO report, Working out of Poverty, the Executive Director said that the roles of the two agencies were complementary because they seek to solve the problems of the poor from different angles. “We concur with the call of ILO Director General for the coordination of policies that focus on different dimensions of life of people living in poverty,” she said.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also supported the section of the report stressing the role of the youth as key players in the fight against poverty. Earlier this year, she recalled, UN-HABITAT had responded to the Secretary General’s initiative on youth employment and attended a joint Expert Group Meeting on Youth Employment Creation and the 41st Session of the Commission for Social Development with the ILO.
She said that at the meeting UN-HABITAT agreed to co-host a follow-up Expert Group Meeting on Urban Youth Employment to be held in Nairobi in June 2004. She said the meeting would seek to further enhance coordination and collaboration among UN agencies to set up programmes targeting urban youth. It would also explore the need to enhance urban governance for employment creation for the urban youth.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also said that that the 19th Session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council adopted a resolution to engage the youth in the work of the organization. “The request by youth networks, such as the Youth Employment Summit, to develop cooperation agreements with UN-HABITAT in the implementation of city-level pilot activities was also considered,” she said.