l-r: Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Mrs. Ann Dismorr of Sweden.
Mrs. Tibaijuka praised Sweden for maintaining the position of one of the top ten donors to UN-HABITAT over the past several years and appealed to the country to maintain its level of support for the organization.
She referred to Swedish partnership in the USD 10.56 million Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), which aims at poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure. The Network, she said, has developed a global land partnership. It aims to take a more holistic approach to land issues and improve global land coordination in various ways.
Mrs. Tibaijuka noted Sweden’s support to Phase III of the Lake Victoria City Development Strategies (CDS), in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, which aims to mobilize city authorities along Lake Victoria and other stakeholders to develop a regional framework for laying out city development strategies. The beneficiary cities are Kisumu, Homa Bay, Musoma, Bukoba, Mwanza, Kampala, Entebbe, and Jinja. The project, which will cost about US$5.2 million, started in December 2006 and will end in April 2010.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also informed the envoy that the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is also part of the Development Partners Group in Land (DPGL) that has been supporting the land reform process in Kenya. The activity of the DPGL includes policy formulation process and the preparation of the implementation framework for the Land Reform Support Programme.
UN-HABITAT has chaired the donor group since its inception in 2003 and has coordinated policy dialogue on sector specific issues among the donors and strengthened their commitment to a pro-poor land policy process. This has ensured consensus around priorities for land reforms.
The Executive Director also informed the envoy that there are at present 20 organizations from Sweden that are accredited to UN-HABITAT. The organizations work in a range of issues related to the human settlements sector in Sweden. Their activities include civil engineering, balanced regional development, maintaining standards for social housing, developing new housing policies, and providing housing for the homeless and the refugees.
The organizations include: Church of Sweden Aid, English International Association of Lund, European Network for Housing Research, National Council of Swedish Youth Organizations, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Stockholm County Association of Local Authorities, Swedish Construction Federation, Swedish Housewives Association Home and Society, and Women for Peace Sweden.
Responding, Mrs. Dismorr congratulated Mrs. Tibaijuka for being awarded that 2009 coveted Göteborg Award for Sustainable Development, widely known as the “Nobel Prize for the Environment.” Mrs. Dismorr stated that the award to Mrs. Tibaijuka is “very well deserved.”