Zena Daysh, the founder of the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council and a tireless campaigner for a better human habitat who won the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour Award, has died after a short illness, her office announced. She was 96.
|Zena Daysh receiving the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour from Mr. Ben. Photo © UN-HABITAT |
"Zena Daysh was a tireless campaigner for the cause of better human settlements around the world," said UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos.
"She was one of those great visionaries whose vigour and drive half a century ago helped galvanise international consensus which subsequently led to the establishment of the UN Centre for Human Settlements, as UN-HABITAT was first called," he said. "Personally known to many here at the agency, Ms. Daysh will be greatly missed at our global gatherings."
In 2003, Ms. Daysh won the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour award for a lifetime dedicated to improving human settlements around the world. It was personally presented to her by Britain's then Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn, in one of his first formal engagements on taking office.
New Zealand-born Ms. Daysh, was a political in-fighter on the international stage for over five decades doing battle on human settlements issues. Her passionate interest in human ecology led to the establishment of the Malta Human Environment Council, and later the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC) which has worked closely with UN-HABITAT for many years.
She played a leading role at the UN General Assembly Session on Human Settlements (Istanbul + 5) in New York in June 2001 where she explained the work of the Commonwealth Consultative Group on Human Settlements to an international audience.