Joan Clos: new director of UN-Habitat

Secretary-General of UN Ban Ki-moon nominated on the 23rd of August Joan Clos, former mayor of Barcelona, Spain, and one of the Founding Fathers of the World Organization, as the next head of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting environmentally and socially sustainable cities and towns, a key partner of UCLG on the international agenda. Elected by the General Assembly, Joan Clos will serve as Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for a four-year term starting on 18 October.

Joan Clos would succeed Anna Tibaijuka, who has headed UN-HABITAT in 2001 and has been an important ally for the cause of local authorities before the international community. Mr. Clos served as mayor of Barcelona from 1997 until 2006 and more recently he was industry, tourism and trade minister for Spain and then the country´s ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The Presidency, World Secretariat and Members of United Cities of Local Governments, are thankful to Anna Tibaijuka for the work accomplished together allowing for a greater recognition of local and regional government on the international stage, and they celebrate the nomination of Joan Clos.

In the era of cities a former mayor will be leading the cities agenda of the UN. His nomination is an important sign of the progress by local authorities in the international arena and of the work that UCLG and its members are carrying out worldwide.