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.