Cities Alliance Welcomes Election of Joan Clos as Executive Director of UN-HABITAT
Dr. Joan Clos.
[26 August 2010] --The United Nations General Assembly has elected Joan Clos as the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT at the level of Under Secretary-General of the UN. He is expected to begin his tenure on 18 October for a period of four years.
The former Mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos has a long career in the Spanish Government both at the local and national level. Between 2006 and 2008, he was appointed Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade in President José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s cabinet. Prior to this, between 1997 and 2006, Joan Clos served two terms as Mayor of Barcelona. He is currently Spain´s Ambassador to the Republics of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
On hearing the news, Joan Clos said he was honored to have been elected by the UN General Assembly as the new Executive Director of UN-HABITAT and thanked the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon for nominating him. "I am deeply committed to my new task and look forward to building on the achievements of my predecessor, Anna Tibaijuka. I am a long time believer in sustainable cities that practice participatory urban governance and which provide shelter and basic services for all," he said.
"With over half of humanity now living in cities we must prioritise both urban poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, especially as there are now almost one billion slum dwellers. Through collaboration and partnership with governments, local authorities, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and all Habitat Agenda partners, our urban areas can be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. I look forward to making my modest contribution to the future of cities."
UN-HABITAT has its global headquarters in Nairobi, and is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-HABITAT and the World Bank were co-founders of the Cities Alliance in 1999, and co-chair the Consultative Group.
William Cobbett, Manager of the Cities Alliance, welcomed the appointment of Joan Clos. "With his experience as an innovative and dynamic City Mayor, diplomat and internationalist, Joan Clos is an outstanding choice as the next Executive Director of UN-HABITAT".