Four new envoys accredited to UN-HABITAT last week presented their credentials to the Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
The new diplomats are from Benin , Burundi , Czech Republic and Nigeria . Receiving the envoys, Mrs. Tibaijuka briefed them on the agency's activities in general and the status of their countries' partnership with UN-HABITAT.
Mr. Edouard O. Aho-Glele is the new envoy from Benin . While receiving him, Mrs. Tibaijuka informed the envoy that UN-HABITAT has an excellent working relationship with the Government of Benin, which regularly and actively participates in UN-HABITAT Governing Council as well as others important events like the World Urban Forum (WUF). She added that UN-HABITAT is currently providing technical support for the City Development Strategy (CDS) project for Greater Cotonou, the capital city. Among other things, the project will establish a collaborative mechanism between three districts in Cotonou . It will also formulate a metropolitan development plan and define a ten-year intervention programme for urban poverty alleviation.
While receiving Mr. Salvator Ntacobamaze from Burundi , the ED congratulated the people of Burundi for the return of peace in their country. Mrs. Tibaijuka appraised the new envoy on the partnerships between UN-HABITAT and his government in implementing various projects including urban and regional planning, site and services for low-income groups, housing finance mechanisms, and the rehabilitation of social infrastructure.
Ms. Margita Fuchsova of the Czech Republic while presenting her credentials, gave the assurance that, in the future, her country will participate more actively in the work of UN-HABITAT by sending experts to help the agency. Mrs. Tibaijuka thanked the Czech Republic for fulfilling its financial obligations to UN-HABITAT and expressed the hope that when the Czech Republic assumes the presidency of the European Union in January 2009, it would use its influence to persuade other European countries to adopt the assessed voluntary contribution method for UN-HABITAT.
While presenting his credentials, the new Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Chijioke Wilcox Wigwe, expressed his country's appreciation to Mrs. Tibaijuka for the impressive achievements recorded by the agency since she took over the leadership of the organization. Mrs. Tibaijuka briefed the envoy on the activities of UN-HABITAT in Nigeria . She acknowledged with gratitude that the Nigerian Governmant funds the Habitat Programme Support Office (HAPSO), which was established in Abuja in 2004 and which operates from the UNDP office. The office has been helping to streamline and enhance UN-HABITAT's activities in that country. She stated that Nigeria 's UN-HABITAT Country Programme document was one of the best the agency was producing.