United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in Geneva presented Bahrain’s Prime Minister with UN-HABITAT’s top award for his efforts in carrying out better housing policies and urban development.
UN-HABITAT, the UN agency whose goal is to provide adequate shelter for all, awarded Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa its Scroll of Honour Award for his efforts in lifting the living standards for all Bahrainis.
The agency’s mandate focuses on promoting duel socially and environmentally sustainable development, a standard which both UN-HABITAT and Secretary General Ban commended the Prime Minister for maintaining by respecting cultural heritage while facilitating modernization.
“Under the able leadership of your Highness, the Kingdom of Bahrain has made remarkable strides in reducing poverty. Over the past quarter of a century, Bahrain has transformed itself from a collection of rural villages into a thriving diversified economy while preserving the cultural heritage of the Kingdom,” said Mr. Ban.
The award was presented by the Secretary-General at the opening ceremony of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Anna Tibaijuka, echoed the Secretary-General’s praise of the Prime Minister, adding that “UN-HABITAT is proud to be associated with [his] success.”
She highlighted the agency’s long and constructive relationship with Bahrain and commended its leader specifically for his “sustained efforts in implementation of the Habitat Agenda and the associated Millennium Development Goals of water sanitation and slum upgrading in [Bahrain]…at a regional level,” singling out the 2003 Royal initiative to rejuvenate dilapidated areas as a model to be emulated.
In his acceptance speech, the Prime Minister thanked the Secretary-General and the Executive Director, gave credit to the King of Bahrain and the citizens and stated that he looked forward to continuing cooperation with UN-HABITAT and the UN in helping the world meet the Millennium Development Goals, a set of antipoverty targets for the year 2015.