The third Vice President of Spain Mr. Manuel Chaves, on Monday this week received the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour (Special Citation) on behalf of the Spanish organisation FEIL.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos presented the award at a colourful ceremony in Madrid. The Local Investment State Fund, known by its Spanish acronym FEIL, won the Scroll of Honour in 2010. It was a celebration of the organisation which in 2009 had investments worth 8 billion Euros in Spanish towns and cities.
First given in 1989, the Scroll of Honour award recognises those initiatives that have most contributed to improving the quality of life in urban areas and the development of more sustainable cities and is of the highest international prestige in its field. In the case of FEIL, the judges were impressed with the contribution made to creating jobs, stimulating the economy and improving the quality of life in Spanish towns and cities.
This is the first time that Spain has received a Special Citation (the highest category within the Scrolls of Honour) the granting of which is decided upon by a jury of international experts in urban development.
UN-HABITAT is the United Nations agency that manages the programme for Human Settlements to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Mr. Chaves considered it an honour for the Government of Spain to receive the recognition, which he said he would like to share with the more than 8,000 local councils that presented investment projects to receive FEIL funding. The fund represented "the greatest mobilisation of public resources to benefit local councils" in the entire democratic history of Spain.
The Third Vice-President of the Government added that "a very positive balance" can be made of the impact generated by this initiative on job creation, its contribution to maintaining thousands of companies in business and on improving the quality of life and wellbeing in Spanish towns and cities.
The Scroll of Honour is presented during the Global Observance of World Habitat Day. Since its establishment in 1989, the award has been presented to around 120 winners.
The Special Citation a 'political' version of the award and is normally conferred on important personalities or institutions for their leadership and role towards sustainable cities and improving urban life. The Citation is normally presented at the World Urban Forum, the Governing Council or other key events.
Some of the winners who have been presented with the Special Citation are: The Seoul Metropolitan Government, Republic of Korea; Nanjing Municipal Government, People's Republic of China; King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique