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The Secretary-General message of appreciation on the retirement of Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT Nairobi, 31 August 2010
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THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
MESSAGE OF APPRECIATION ON THE RETIREMENT
OF MRS. ANNA TIBAIJUKA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UN-HABITAT
Nairobi, 31 August 2010

It gives me great pleasure to send greetings to all gathered to bid farewell to our colleague Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka. I will never forget my first visit to Nairobi as Secretary-General, less than one month after taking office, when I was shown round Kibera by Mrs. Tibaijuka. I was so moved by the plight of the people there, and by the work HABITAT was, and is, doing in Africa's largest slum, that I donated the $100,000 award I had received from the Pony Chung Scholarship Foundation to UN-HABITAT. Mrs. Tibaijuka wisely used this as seed money to attract even more funding for HABITAT's "Moonlight" initiative to help Kibera' s people improve their standards of living. I am grateful to her for this effort.

The first woman from Africa to be elected by the UN General Assembly as Under-Secretary-General of a United Nations programme, Mrs Tibaijuka has worked hard to inspire a new strategic vision on the global challenge of sustainable urbanization. She oversaw the growth of HABITAT's stature and influence and has been instrumental in promoting the upgrading of the world's slums. She invigorated two flagship HABITAT enterprises -- the World Urban Forum and the State of the World's Cities report, and worked closely with the African Union in establishing its Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development. She served as a member of the Commission for Africa, and as Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi between September 2006 and March 2009, where she helped oversee the development and expansion of the United Nations headquarters in Africa.

I extend my personal appreciation for Mrs. Tibaijuka' s contribution to the United Nations, and I wish her every success as she moves on to new challenges.

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