Lebaneses Prime Minister Rafic Hariri has been awarded a Special Citation of the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour for his work in the post-conflict reconstruction of his country.
Prime Minister Rafic Hariri has provided leadership in achieving impressive results in planning, project design and implementation, fundraising, and helping rebuild peace in his country after a devastating 16 year civil war. The work is part of an on-going programme, which has included the restoration of the country’s infrastructure including the electric power power system, a new telephone network, new roads, hospitals and clinics. The city of Beirut has been almost rebuilt and its central business district restored to its original grandeur.
The Special Citation by UN-HABITAT recognizes the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction. UN-HABITAT has experience in post-conflict reconstruction and development programmes in several countires around the world including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and several African countries emerging from conflicts.
Mr. Rafic Hariri will receive the honour on Monday, September 13 from UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka at the Opening Ceremony of the World Urban Forum in the Spanish city of Barcelona. The occassion will be witnessed by outstanding world leaders including ex-Presidents Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev and Mr. Martti Ahtisaari of Finland. The Secretary-General of the United Nations will be represented at the Forum by a special envoy, Mrs. Mervat Tallaway, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for ESCWA. ESCWA is headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon.
According to the panel of judges who arrived at this decisison, ‘The Special Citation on post-conflict reconstruction awarded to Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and to the people of Lebanon, goes to underscore the challenge of promoting a culture of peace and reconciliation that is critical to solve the many conflicts afflicting many parts of the world’. The award is meant to encourage this “shining example”.
The reconstructrion of Lebanon and Beirut is showcased at the World Urban Forum which itself is part of the glittering Universal Forum of cultures that is being hosted by the City of Barcelona from 9 May to 26 September 2004. The theme of the WUF is Cities: Crossroad of Cultures-Inclusiveness and Integration.