The Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, has commended the Government of Finland for its support for the activities of the organization. Mrs. Tibaijuka made the commendation on Thursday while receiving the credentials from the new Permanent Representative of Finland to UN-HABITAT, Ms. Heli Sirve.
The Executive Director noted that on 4 February, this year, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland agreed to spend up to €470.000 to support the “Good Governance for Enhanced Post-war Reconstruction”, in Lebanon, a project being executed by UN-HABITAT. She also stated that the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment are jointly funding a series of short “Sustainable Communities” courses, in collaboration with UN-HABITAT and UNEP.
She said that the first of the three-part series of the course was held in Helsinki, Finland, in August 2008; the second will be hosted by the Asian Institute for Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, in August 2008; and the third will be hosted by the University of Nairobi in 2009.
The Executive Director pointed out that each course offers fellowship to approximately 30 selected mid-career professionals from Anglophone Africa and Asia a broad overview of current approaches and innovations on sustainable urban development, with an emphasis on bridging the gap between research and action.
Mr. Tibaijuka also stated that there are 19 organizations from Finland in UN-HABITAT’s partner’s database, and that the organizations work within a vast range of issues related to the housing sector in Finland.
The Executive also told the envoy that the Government of Finland has been cooperating with UN-HABITAT within the land sector donor group in Kenya since its establishment in 2003. The objective is to ensure a harmonized, aligned and coordinated approach to land sector development in the country.
Mrs. Tibaijuka, however, called on Finland to increase its contributions to the organization in line with its status as a developed economy. Responding, Ms. Sirve assured the Executive Director of Finland’s continued support and praised Mrs. Tibaijuka and the larger United Nations system for their role in the Kenya peace process.