Former US President Bill Clinton and UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka met recently at a high profile event organised by the Clinton Global Initiative – University.
Pic © Clinton Global Initiative
Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Tibaijuka discussed the need to work with cities in the developing world to harness the potential of rapid urban growth, and the United Nations Global Campaign for Sustainable Urbanization when they met at the second meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative – University held in Austin, Texas on February 14.
Mr. Clinton convened over 3,000 participants, including university presidents, students, activists and policy makers to mobilize their commitments to solve some the world’s most pressing challenges.
The university prioritized five themes: education, energy and climate change, global health, peace and human rights, and poverty alleviation. Participants emphasized the need to harness the energy and talent of young people to tackle these issues in the 21st century.
Mrs. Tibaijuka moderated a standing-room only working session on “Human Development as Urban Development.” The Executive Director began the session by paying tribute to student groups for pioneering projects and applying their insights to come up with solutions in their own communities and beyond.
She then moderated an interactive discussion among four distinguished panelists: Mr. Farouk Braimah, the Executive Director of the People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements, Slum Dwellers International Ghana; Mr. Richard Guarasci, the President of Wagner College; Ms. Fatimah Muhammad, the Manager, Welcoming Center West and Mr. Robert Neuwirth, an author.
After an interim period in which participants prepared suggestions for improving the living and working conditions of the urban poor, Chris Williams, the Washington Representative of UN-HABITAT moderated an extended dialogue of the Session. In response to the suggested actions, the four panelists commended the next generation of leaders on their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to urban issues.