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Yangon, 18 Sept 13

Deputy-Minister of Construction, Dr. Win Myint and H.E. Madame Katja Nordgaard, Ambassador of Norway together with representatives from Myanmar government ministries, members of the diplomatic corps, UN agencies and international NGOs - at the official opening of the Urban Resource Center and the handover of the Provisional Myanmar National Building Code (MNBC).

The Urban Resource Center (URC) was recently opened by Dr. Win Myint, Union Deputy-Minister of Construction in the premises of Department of Human Settlements and Housing Development, Ministry of Construction in Yangon.

The (URC) is part of the Urban Research and Development Institute (URDI) which was officially inaugurated in January 2012 as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Ministry of Construction and UN-Habitat in September 2011. The institute functions as a think tank in areas of urbanization, urban development, housing and disaster risk reduction providing policy advice, capacity development and urban research.

During the event, a copy of the Provisional National Building Code for Myanmar was handed over to Dr  Myint. Also present were the ambassador of Norway to Myanmar Ms. Katja Christina Nordgaard and the UN-Habitat Country Progamme Manager for Myanmar Mr. Bijay Karmacharya.

Also in attendance were representatives from government ministries and agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of UN agencies, international NGOs and well wishers.
In his keynote speech Dr. Myint addressed the importance of urban development in Myanmar during a time of immense change and emphasized the importance of the comprehensive urban development initiatives that are currently underway. “Urbanization as a physical and economic phenomenon will be a key factor in determining the quality and speed of economic growth of Myanmar and the importance of the collaboration between the Ministry of Construction and UN-Habitat which aims at offering technical assistance to the Ministry for possible responses to challenges Myanmar will encounter on the path to modernization and development”, he said.

Ms. Nordgaard commented on the importance of urban policy development and the necessity of strategically planned urban development while Mr. Karmacharya, explained the collaborative initiative between the Government of the Union of Myanmar, the Ministry of Construction and UN-Habitat in technical assistance for policy and institutional strengthening.

The Country Programme Manager spoke on the inevitability of urbanization in Myanmar and the positive benefits to be derived from it. “The initiative was devised to ensure that the urban sector is all inclusive, environmentally sustainable and complementary to rural development”, Mr. Karmacharya said.

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