The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, has called for greater government and private sector investment in housing and urban infrastructure in order to improve the living conditions of the poor.
The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, has called for greater government and private sector investment in housing and urban infrastructure in order to improve the living conditions of the poor. She made the call today in her office while receiving the credentials of the new Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Milan Zachar.
Mrs. Tibaijuka recalled that before she came to UN-HABITAT ten years ago, few people were talking about the problems of slums; but now, many governments and individuals are taking up the challenge. Mrs. Tibaijuka observed that improving slums is not only a question of money but also a question of political will.The Executive Director briefed the new envoy on the ongoing UN-HABITAT’s Medium Term Strategic and Institutional Plan (MTSIP), which, she said, is aimed at supporting governments and their development partners to achieve more sustainable urbanization and promote policy and institutional reforms. She said that the MTSIP is for the period 2008-2013.
She also informed the envoy that as the lead agency in the United Nations System for sustainable urban development, UN-Habitat is currently coordinating the participation of all agencies, programmes and funds of the United Nations at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China.
Mrs. Tibaijuka praised the Slovak government for its strong political support to the agency both in Nairobi and New York, but noted that the financial support has not been forthcoming. She stressed that UN-HABITAT needed financial support from member states to keep the organization going but regretted that, at the moment, the organization is supported mainly by a few European countries.
Mrs. Tibaijuka congratulated Mr. Zachar on his appointment and wished him a successful tenure. She presented the envoy with some important publications of the organization, including: the Global Report on Human Settlements, The State of World’s Cities Report, and UN-HABITAT magazine – “Urban World”. She also presented the envoy an autographed copy of her own book entitled: “Building Prosperity.”
In his response, Mr Zachar expressed appreciation to Mrs. Tibaijuka for the reception accorded him and gave the assurance that he would follow up on the issues raised by the Executive Director with his government.