UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka last week held wide-ranging talks with officials of the new Dutch government.
In the first high level encounters between UN-HABITAT and the new Dutch government, Mrs. Tibaijuka called upon Mrs. Ella Vogelaar, the Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration, the Mayor of the Hague, Mr. Willem Deetman and other officials.
The aim of the meetings was to look at future opportunities for collaboration and support to help further the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and those Millennium Development Goals targeted at reducing urban poverty and the quality of life for over one billion slum dwellers around the world.
During her meeting with Mayor Deetman, Mrs. Tibaijuka discussed arrangements for the up-coming United Nations World Habitat Day which, this year will be held in the Hague on 1 October 2007. The UN General Assembly has dedicated the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day when communities all over the world are expected to celebrate and reflect upon the many problems and possibilities of human settlements. Every year, a new city offers to host the global observances; this year the City of Hague has offered to hold the celebrations with the theme ‘A safe city is a just city’.
The Netherlands Government is a major donor to UN-HABITAT’s work in the area of human settlements development and has in the recent past contributed to the Sustainable Cities Programme and to the Strengthening National Capacities Training Programme. The Netherlands Government has contributed US$ 5 million to UN-HABITAT's Water and Sanitation Trust Fund and a further US$ 20 million to the success of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative that is working in secondary towns around Lake Victoria to improve the delivery of clean water and the provision of adequate sanitation.