The new Permanent Representative of Brazil to UN-HABITAT, Ms. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes, gave assurance of her country’s continued support to UN-HABITAT when she presented her credentials to the Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
The Executive Director expressed her appreciation for the support to UN-HABITAT from the people of Brazil and for the hard work of the former Permanent Representatives to promote good relations with the organization. She said that Brazil has been an influential member of the Governing Council.
The Brazilian municipal city of Rio de Janeiro has, since December 1996, hosted the UN-HABITAT’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), from where the UN-HABITAT’s activities in the region are coordinated.
The Executive Director added that following the success of the Latin America's Housing and Urban Development Ministers' Conference (MINURVI), UN-HABITAT has set up corresponding organizations for Africa and Asia.
Mrs. Tibaijuka outlined the various aspects of UN-HABITAT’s collaboration with Brazil. This includes working relations with 34 Non-Governmental Organizations which are accredited to the agency. These organizations play an active role in research and the provision of assistance to grassroots organizations, support schools and training services as well as local governments. They also provide technical assistance to social development programmes for improving the living environment and offer training on self-help housing projects and research in architecture and sustainable maintenance of urbanization. Partnerships have also been established with Brazilian organizations that are working towards empowering women groups to fight against social exclusion and to address family planning issues.
Brazil will be a key contributor to the Fourth Session of the World Urban Forum to be held in Nanjing, China from 3-6 November 2008. The Ministry of Cities of Brazil is organizing a networking event on affordable housing for the low income population for the year 2020. The event will be conducted in collaboration with other ministries of housing and draw from country experiences in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, South Africa and The Netherlands and share approaches, results and challenges to housing the poor during the next decade.
The Executive Director called on Ms. Fernandes to participate actively at the Fourth Session of the World Urban Forum and presented the envoy with copies of UN-HABITAT’s flagship publications.