Two new Permanent Representatives to UN-HABITAT today presented their credentials to the Executive Director, Mr. Juan Clos. They are H.E. Mr. Sababrata Tripathi of the Republic of India, and H.E. Mr. Per Ludvig Magnus of the Kingdom of Norway.
Dr. Joan Clos (right) and Mr. Sibabrata Tripathi © UN-HABITAT
Exchanging views with the Permanent Representative of India, Mr. Tripathi, the Executive Director stated that UN-HABITATwould like to increase its presence in India because the country is a very important partner to the organization. He said that UN-HABITAT would be particularly interested to study the Indian experience with regards to market towns in the country in order to see if the experience can be applied elsewhere in the world. Market towns are town that developed through the distribution of commodities like pepper, tomatoes, tobacco among others.
Mr. Tripathi called for assistance from the Executive Director to enable Indian cities tackle some challenges confronting them, like slum reduction, pollution, water shortage and disaster prevention.
The envoy informed the Executive Director that the relationship between Indian cities and the countryside is very strong but noted that this relationship is being diluted by urban growth. He also informed the Executive Director that the construction of the new metro system in India was near completion.
During his meeting with Mr. Magnus of Norway, the Executive Director thanked Norway for its support to UN-HABITAT in the past and appealed that the support be sustained in order to strengthen the organization. Mr. Clos said: “I would like you to think about the future. Let us keep the spirit of the relationship.”
Dr. Joan Clos (left) and Mr. Per Ludvig Magnus. © UN-HABITAT
He assured the envoy that UN-HABITAT would introduce the needed reforms, stating that the organization would in future focus on energy issues and transportation.
Earlier, Mr. Magnus had congratulated had Mr. Clos on his appointment and expressed the hope that he would bring his great intellectual drive into the job. He recalled the projects that his country was supporting in UN-HABITAT – including water and sanitation, youth and gender – but said that the country would scale down a little. He said that in future, his country would like to focus on energy issues and transportation.
Mr. Magnus thanked Mr. Clos for the reception accorded him and stated that he looked forward to greater cooperation between his Norway and UN-HABITAT.