UN-HABITAT’s new Executive Joan Clos has appealed to Member States for support to enable the organization achieve its mandate.
UN-HABITAT's's Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, and Ms. Susannah Goshko of the United Kingdom. © UN-HABITAT
Mr. Clos made the appeal today in his office while receiving credentials from two new Permanent Representatives to the agency. They are the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ms. Susannah Goshko; and her counterpart from the Republic of Chile, H.E. Mr. Konrad Paulsen.
During his meeting with the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, the first such exercise since assuming the leadership of the organization nine days ago, Mr. Clos informed Ms. Goshko that UN-HABITAT is doing quite well in its service to the international community. He noted the organization’s activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Haiti and said that, apart from building camps, the organization intends to have rapid response programmes.
He said that UN-HABITAT has a lot of expertise in reconstruction, development and in conflict situations and that its experience in Kosovo and other places very be very useful for any challenges that it might be called upon to undertake in the future. He declared, “Our potentials still have to be better harnessed.”
The Executive Director stated that he would reshape the organization to increase efficiency, ensure total transparency, make it more visible and increase the morale of staff in order to get results.
Mr. Clos, who was the Mayor of the Spanish city of Barcelona for nine years during which he turned around the fortunes of the city, stated that there are a lot of cities in the world with diminishing populations. He stressed the need to present a more interesting view of the situation. This approach, he said, should explain the good and the bad sides of the city.
Responding, Ms. Goshko gave the assurance that her Government will continue to support UN-Habitat, particularly in the area of Governance. She stressed that “the work of UN-Habitat is where the future is because it helps to prevent other social problems.” Ms. Goshko assured Mr. Clos: “Count on our support to get the best out of UN-Habitat.”
During his meeting with the Permanent Representative of Chile, Mr. Paulsen, the envoy informed the Executive Director that his country was satisfied with its relationship with UN-HABITAT. He gave the assurance that Chile will continue to support UN-HABITAT, and said, “We are very conscious about UN-HABITAT issues.”
Mr. Paulsen also informed the Executive Director that his country was working towards decentralization as a means of ensuring a more rapid socio-economic development. He pointed out that Chilean cities were expanding rapidly and without the menace of slums.
UN-HABITAT's Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, receives the credentials from H.E. Mr. Konrad Paulsen of Chile.© UN-HABITAT
Mr. Paulsen stated that the Government of Chile was providing the people with social housing with mortgages and individual title deeds. He promised to share with UN-HABITAT and Member States his country’s experience in social housing and other issues during the Twenty-Third Session of the Governing Council to be held in Nairobi from 11-15 April 2011.
The Executive Director congratulated the Government and people of Chile for successfully rescuing the 33 miners who were trapped underground for 70 days following the collapse of the mine in which they were working. Dr. Clos congratulated both envoys on their appointment and wished them a successful tenure.