Message from His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the occasion of the World Habitat Day
His Highness called upon the international community to mobilize resources and effectively contribute in planning to in create a physical livable environment enabling the urban poor to live in a safe and sustainable environment. One brought about through directing aid provided by donor countries to the alleviation of urban sprawl and to urban poverty reduction.
In this regard planning is an important tool in sustainable urbanization and as a means to curb the rampant urbanization that is spreading across many poor cities in the world.
He said: "It is necessary for governments to entrust to the private sector a basic role in planning, financing and in contributing to finding an environment most suitable for living and in the development of new infrastructures."
He also stressed that the theme this year of the World Habitat Day, was a theme that expresses the aspirations and hopes of societies, a theme which should be of a continuous nature as it is an objective that has a beginning but has no end. In this regard and in view of the importance of raising awareness of the significance of urban challenges faced by developing countries, The Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa UN-HABITAT Award is a testimony of Bahrain desire to bring about changes that set new trends with development programmes that have been implemented and have achieved the positive results.
Designing our urban future should be a theme that should include benchmarks that can guide the formulation of objectives and plans leading to the establishment of strategies and approaches serving development.
He also said that “urban planning is not feasible at present in the least developed countries due to the limited resources at their disposal. It is thus incumbent on the international community to work towards building the capacity of those countries through the development of planning processes and actively enhancing their ability to implement applicable ideas.
The urbanization and development challenges will continue to be a battle can only be won if all efforts are combined and all parties participate in the urbanization processes leading to the establishment of the principles and policies which serve this purpose.
He commended UN-HABITAT for providing a comprehensive perspective of sustainable urbanization. As such, he called for the further promotion of the role of UN-HABITAT, enhancing its effectiveness to monitor urbanization at the international level. The organization should be provided with adequate resources to boost its research and analytical capabilities to effectively enable it to contribute to improving the living conditions of millions of people in different parts of the world.
He emphasized that housing and sustainable urban development is at the forefront of the development strategies and programmes of the Kingdom of Bahrain. There was therefore a continuous trend to launch innovative initiatives that seek to provide appropriate solutions ensuring that all citizens are provided with adequate housing and services in both cities and villages. Furthermore he applauded the progress and development achieved by the Kingdom in improving the living standard of its people and the provision of the basic needs of health, education and housing.
His Highness stated that the participation of Bahrain in the celebration of this event is based on the belief that facing the global challenges and problems depends on humanity's ability to work collectively for a world in which human beings enjoy prosperity, security and peace. He emphasized that the issues of urban development and housing should be accorded greater attention through the adoption of an international model which include practical plans for achieving economic and social progress, one that meet the aspirations of the peoples for sustainable development.
His Highness reiterated the support of the Kingdom of Bahrain to all efforts and initiatives launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme praising the sincere efforts of His Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and highly commended the efforts of Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, in helping the developing countries in achieving sustainable urbanization along with all the staff of the organization.
Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa
5th October 2009, Washington DC USA
Statement of Shaikh Hussam Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Advisor to H.H. the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the World Habitat Day ceremony
It is an honour for me to participate in the World Habitat Day ceremony.
We hope that this day will mark the beginning of efforts to change current approaches to planning and usher a new role for planning in sustainable urban development.
We in the Kingdom of Bahrain are already set on such a course. I wish in this regard to recall what the Secretary General of the United Nations, said in presenting, the 2006 Special Citation of the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour to His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and I quote “Tremendous progress has been made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals with social, economic and environmental problems recognized and effective policies adopted to address them in a sustainable manner”.
A concrete example of our strong relations with UN-HABITAT is the establishment of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa UN-HABITAT Award to promote sustainable urban development. The Award aims at identifying, recognizing and publicizing outstanding initiatives related to housing programmes and policies, and good urban governance, and to disseminate lessons learned. The Award is thus in line with the theme of the World Habitat Day.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend warm congratulations to the winners of the 2009 Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa UN-HABITAT Award - The “land and Housing Programme of the Bento Rubiao Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”.
Thank you very much.
Hussam Bin Essa Al-Khalifa
October 5th 2009 Manama Bahrain
Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs Celebrates World Habitat Day
The Ministry celebrated WHD at Bahrain Conference Centre – Crowne Plaza. In addition to MPs, Municipal Council members, engineering offices representatives, official and staff members of the Ministry and Urban planning Bureau, there were present two past Ministers and the current Municipality Minister.
The activity comprised of speeches delivered by Dr. Juma al Kaabi, The Minister of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs where he emphasized on the role played by the Ministry to improve the quality of life of all citizens and inhabitants of Bahrain where they seek to achieve through better urban planning initiatives. That guides development towards creating more economic activities, and through improved and comprehensive system linked with all related Ministries, Municipal Councils and private sector.
Speakers included an acting UN programmes coordinator, a Municipal Council representative, with a presentation made by the Under Secretary for Urban Planning about the structural strategic plan of Bahrain. This was followed a screening of a televised Message from the executive Director of UN-Habitat Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka and a tour of an exhibition of Urban planning in Bahrain by all participants.