Former United Nation Human Settlement Programme, UN HABITAT, Executive Director, Professor Anna Tibaijuka has been awarded a prestigious award for her role in championing sustainable development. She becomes the first woman worldwide to receive the honour.
The award dubbed ‘His Royal Highness H.R.H Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Award for Sustainable Development,’ is given to individuals or institutions who are actively involved in actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals and is meant to motivate them to commit extra efforts at national, regional and international levels to achieve the award’s noble humanitarian goals.
Professor Tibaijuka was selected in recognition of her role and contribution, through the posts she has held previously, that have advanced sustainable urban development, in addition to efforts she has championed in consolidating cooperation among various countries across the world, which have seen her recognized by governments, international and academic institutions.
These achievements tie with the award’s objectives of achieving development projects by individuals and institutions and succeeding in providing creative solutions that contribute to achieving sustainable development.
Through the award, H.R.H the Prime Minister seeks to encourage all individual and collective initiatives aimed at achieving the aspirations for sustainable urban development.
The award also embodies the Prime Minister’s vision at a global level regarding the need to achieve sustainable urban development, and promote the development culture among all communities, especially in developing countries.
The vision is in line with H.R.H the Premier’s desire to support all international efforts aimed at improving the living conditions worldwide and embodies his support to all global sustainable development initiatives.
“I thank Your Royal Highness for this recognition and promise that in return I shall continue to work hard in pursuit of the noble goals of the Award, namely, helping communities attain sustainable development,” said Professor Tibaijuka on receiving the news.
The award will be presented to Prof Tibaijuka during a ceremony to be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 23rd on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly session, under the theme: “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world”.
Professor Tibaijuka added that the conferment of the Award at the UNHQ in New York during the General Assembly is an appropriate and fitting occasion because over the years, her colleagues there had witnessed firsthand the many initiatives, which she had initiated at UN-HABITAT to promote sustainable development, always with focus on the least developed countries, the poor, and women.
In 2007, H.R.H. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, received the Special Citation of the Habitat Scroll of Honour in recognition of his visionary leadership in effectively pursuing the Millennium Development Goals.
Through participatory governance, the Kingdom of Bahrain has been able to reduce poverty and to bring about social justice through socially inclusive housing policy, housing finance systems and good urban governance.
In order to promote the ideals and principles of good governance in the context of housing and urban development with a focus on equity, H.R.H. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa decided to establish the H.R.H Prince Khalifa Bin Salman AI Khalifa Sustainable Development Award.
Previous winners of the award include “The Green Brigade” Project in Burkina Faso in 2008 an initiative that has sought to improve the city environment while providing secure employment to a group of more than 1200, majority of who are breadwinners, through cleaning of streets and public places.
In 2010, the Brazilian Bento Rubião Foundation’s “Right to Land and Right to Housing” programme in 2010 was recognized for its role in offering construction skills to residents especially women who have gone on to obtain formal employment in the construction industry.