Mrs. Tibaijuka and Mr. Chatpaiboon.
The new Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Kosit Chatpaiboon, today, presented his credentials to the Executive Director, Mrs. Tibaijuka.
Briefing the envoy on the relationship between UN-HABITAT and Thailand, Mrs. Tibaijuka stated that this has been very good and that UN-HABITAT considers Thailand as a regional hub.
The Executive Director recalled that the King of Thailand His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, an engineer by profession, was awarded Special Citation of Habitat Scroll of Honour in 2003 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sustainable habitats and improving the lives of people in cities and communities through improving water resource management in Thailand. Notable among his other contributions is the pollution control of Bangkok’s canals and the innovative water treatment of the Makkasan Lake.
She said that Thailand has a lot of offer to UN-Habitat in terms of the country sharing its experiences and expertise with its peers, particularly those around the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in solving urban and human settlements issues.
Mrs. Tibaijuka stated that the Bangkok Office in the Thai capital was established in September 2009 as a Branch Office of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) based in Fukuoka, Japan, with a view to enhance coordination and liaison functions amongst UN agencies. She informed the envoy that, jointly with ESCAP, the Office has been supporting various regional initiatives, such as Safer Cities Programme, Housing Finance for the poor, Solid Waste Management, among others.
She said that Habitat Agenda Partners in Thailand have been active in celebrating World Habitat Day Events every year in the country. In 2009, the partners joined other United Nations agencies in celebrating the World Habitat Day with the presence of the Prime Minister and Minister of Social Development and Human Security, joined by over 1,000 slum dwellers.
The Executive Director also noted that programmes affiliated to UN-Habitat have benefited from Technical Exchanges with institutions in Thailand. A good example is the Lake Victoria City Development Strategy (CDS), which earlier this month sent a 35-member delegation to Thailand and hosted by the Thai Environment Institute (TEI). The participants, who were from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, learnt innovative environmental management initiatives such as biogas, separation of waste, and renewable energy that they now put into practice.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also informed the envoy that UN-HABITAT worked in Thailand during the post-Tsunami period.
The Executive Director, however, called on Member States to pay up their dues to the organization. She presented the envoy with some important publications of UN-HABITAT, including her own book on: “Building Prosperity”.
Responding, Mr. Chatpaiboon thanked the Executive Director for the reception accorded him and said that his country was prepared to cooperate fully with UN-HABITAT.