UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka was presented a “Millennium Municipality Declaration” on World Habitat Day last week by a group representing the youngest members of municipalities accross The Netherlands.
The so-called “Millennium Municipalities” have committed themselves to the realisation of the Millennium Declaration Goals aimed at poverty reduction around the world. In their Declaration, they pledged to support the goals both personally and by encouraging others in the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) to join the initiative.
On behalf of her colleagues, Ms. Roxanne van Wunnik, the youngest council member in the city of Maastricht, read out the Declaration. Making reference to the important role of local governments in developing countries in attaining the goals, she said local governments in developed countries could help by exchanging experiences with partner municipalities, making conscious choices as consumers, and encouraging citizens’ initiatives to support organisations fighting poverty in developing countries.
Ms. van Wunnik also expressed the importance of global joint efforts by local and national governments and supranational organisations. Apart from the Declaration, the 40 young council members also presented Mrs. Tibaijuka with a ‘time capsule’ containing their personal promises to act in favour of the goals. The time-capsule is not to be opened before the 2015 deadline set by world leaders in the Millennium Declaration.
Mrs. Tibaijuka welcomed the initiative and expressed her appreciation of the young councillors’ efforts to realise the goals. The presentation was part of the World Habitat Day celebrations held in The Hague and attended by, amongst others, the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Bert Koenders, the Dutch Minister of Housing, Ms. Ella Vogelaar, the Minister of Housing in South Africa, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu, and the Mayor of The Hague, Mr. Wim Deetman.