Two new Permanent Representatives today presented their credentials to the Executive Director, Mr. Joan Clos. They are from the Republic of Yemen, H.E. Mr. Yassine Admed Mokbel; and from the Kingdom of Denmark, H.E. Mr. Geert Angaard Andersen.
Mr. Joan Clos (right) and H.E. Mr. Yassine Ahmed Mokbel. © UN-HABITAT
Receiving the envoys separately in his office, the Executive Director expressed the hope that with their appointments, the cordial relationships between their countries and UN-HABITAT will be further strengthened.
Mr. Clos informed the Yemeni envoy, Mr. Mokbel, that UN-HABITAT will open a new Regional Office for the Arab States in Cairo next year to cater for the needs of the countries in the region. He assured Mr. Mokbel that UN-HABITAT would also like to have a strong presence in Yemen and partner with countries to help Yemen develop some projects.
Mr. Mokbel informed the Executive Director that Yemen was doing well economically but as a developing country, it has many challenges. According to him, “We have oil, but not in great quantity. We have minerals like gold, iron and silver, but not fully exploited.” He stated that his country has a vast coastline and strong wind, which can support solar and wind power but these needed to be exploited. He appealed to the Executive Director to assist his country to harness it natural potentials. He stated that because of the security situation in Yemen, tourism had gone down.
The Executive Director assured the Danish envoy, Mr. Andersen that UN-HABITAT was working very hard to implement the UN reforms, noting that UN-HABITAT was working with several United Nations agencies. Mr Clos said that the organization would also like to work in the areas of security and climate change as they affect cities and with the involvement of the private sector.
Mr. Joan Clos (right) receives credentials from H.E. Mr. Geert Aagaard Andersen. © UN-HABITAT
He called on Denmark to identify a programme, like renewable energy in Africa, and show the way.
Mr. Andersen assured Mr. Clos of his country’s support: “With your experience in Barcelona, I am sure that you can bring in the necessary dynamism and achieve results.”
He informed the Executive Director the Denmark has a very strong presence in Somalia, where it is working with UN-HABITAT to execute several projects in spite of the crisis in the country.