Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, this week told the 22nd governing council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN-HABITAT’s sister organisation, that the two Nairobi-based UN bodies would work with a “profound sense of common purpose” to strengthen the nexus between the natural and human-made evironments of the world.
With half of humankind now living in cities, she said the urban environment around the world was the setting for much national production and consumption. But in many cities, she said, slum dwellers number more than 50 percent of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water, and sanitation.
UN-HABITAT, the United Nations agency for cities and other human settlements, was is well aware that local and global environmental conditions are significant for sustainable urbanisation. Poverty alleviation, access to water, sanitation, adequate shelter, and other key development mandates, given by the Habitat Agenda, the Millennium Development Goals and in the targets agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, were critically dependent upon natural resources.
She said the two organisations were currently working jointly a Sustainable Cities Programme, a Water for African Cities Programme, and a Disaster Management Programme. UN-HABITAT and UNEP are also the lead agencies in the UN system-wide New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
For the speech in full, click here