UN-HABITAT’s work in the transition economies of Central, Eastern and Southern European States, took a boost at the First meeting of the Advisory Council of the UN-HABITAT Warsaw Office, the agency’s newest regional centre.
“I am strongly convinced that the UN-Habitat Office Poland can improve the effectiveness and enhance the regional cooperation in the field of sustainable development of human settlements,” said Mr. Andrzej Aumiller, Minister of Construction of Poland said in welcoming remarks to over 70 delegates from 18 countries in the region.
Serving as Chair of the two-meeting, he said he hoped the office sponsored by Poland would have an impact for the better in the region.
“I hope that, following the agreement between the Government of Poland and the UN-HABITAT, the Office in Warsaw will increase the possibilities for interested States to access development resources in the framework of the European Union and United Nations Programmes and Funds. The Office may have also a role in promoting the participation of highly qualified regional experts and urban managers in UN-HABITAT activities,” he said.
To fulfil these functions, the UN-HABITAT Office in Warsaw would provide advisory services and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information, he said. It would also promote various contacts aiming at widening the cooperation in the fields of housing and urban development.
“We hope that following this agreement, the UN-HABITAT Office will also be active in organizing regional and global workshops, seminars and training on housing, and the sustainable development of human settlements,” Mr. Aumiller said.
The Advisory Council is made up of ministers of Central, Eastern and Southern European countries responsible for housing and human settlements.
Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Director UN-HABITAT, paid a special visit to Warsaw for the occasion.
“I also particularly wish to acknowledge our appreciation for the way the Government of Poland inspired the creation of this Habitat centre and for so generously providing the financial support necessary to ensure that the region’s urban problems remain high on every agenda. This is crucial at the dawn of the new urban age,” she said.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also thanked Poland for its generous support of the UN agency’s Water and Sanitation Trust Fund which was changing the lives of some of the poorest people in towns and cities in Africa and Asia.
Mrs. Tibaijuka, who also met representatives of the Union of Town Planners, Architects and Civil Engineers, as well as Polish Bankers Associations, held talks with a number of senior officials Ambassador Janusz Stanczyk, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the UN System, and Mrs. Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the Mayor of Warsaw.