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Bahrain, 10 Jun 10

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Royal Highness Khalifah ibn Sulman al-Khalifah on Wednesday received UN-HABITAT's Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, paving the way for Bahrain to host the sixth session of the World Urban Forum in 2012.

During her courtesy call, the Prime Minister assured Mrs. Tibaijuka of his government's support to UN-HABITAT and to the next Forum. She expressed her appreciation for the support which Bahrain had shown the agency over many years.

After the audience, she signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the next World Urban Forum with Bahrain's Minister of Housing, His Excellency Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

A press conference preceded the signing ceremony at which the Minister of Housing and Mrs. Tibaijuka outlined the benefits of hosting the world’s premier conference on cities.

On Thursday 10 June 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, hosted a meeting of ambassadors and representatives of Arab countries to appeal for support for the Habitat Programme run by the Palestinian Government and UN-HABITAT.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mrs. Tibaijuka, Mr. Maher Ghnaim, Minister of State of the Palestinian Authority, and Ambassador Karim Al-Shakar, the Bahraini Under-Secretary for International Affairs.

They called for urgent support to the special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian People. The programme focuses on supporting the Palestinian Authority in efforts undertaken to alleviate the deteriorated human settlements conditions in the Palestinian territory through better urban development planning and management, the development of the housing sector, and providing assistance to the overall housing efforts.

Thanking the governments and institutions from the Arab region which have already financially supported the UN-HABITAT’s activities for the Palestinian People, mainly the Saudi Committee for the Palestinian People Relief, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Sudan, the co-chairs asked Arab States for more political and financial backing for the UN-HABITAT in the Palestinian territory.

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