UNEP and Habitat to be strengthened further
NAIROBI, May -- Dr. Afsar ul Qader, the new chairman of the Nairobi Chapter and Bangladeshi High Commissioner to Kenya, said he will embark on the task of strenghtening the Nairobi-based U.N. organisations -- Habitat and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP)-- which are both vital to developing countries.
Ul Qader has called for a better understanding between donors and the G-77. A better understanding is critical since we are the major users of these funds. It is also important that the two groups realise the value of good background work before holding a meeting, he said.
He has also urged G-77 members to pay up their outstanding dues as early as possible so as to save both UNEP and Habitat from collapsing.
High Commissioner Ul Qader took over the chairmanship in March from the Algerian ambassador to Kenya, Sid Ali Kentrandji. Kentrandji was supposed to handover the chairmanship late last year but the postponement of the high-level UNEP Ministeral meeting delayed the handover until March this year.
Since Kentradji had diligently served us, the member countries of the G-77 felt he should continue to be chairman until March, Ul Qader said. According to Ul Qader, the year 1998 was the rotational term for the Asian group to chair the Nairobi Chapter. Each group chairs the Chapter for a period of one year.
Member countries from Asia elected me as the chairman after the Indian High Commissioner to Kenya declined the chairmanship. To date, the member countries have continued to play an active role in support of my chairmanship, Ul Qader said.
Meanwhile, the G-77 Nairobi Chapter says it has held a meeting with the new UNEP executive director, Klaus Topfer of Germany.
We agreed that the G-77 should continue to monitor closely the implementation of the programme of work at both the UNEP and the Habitat, Ul Qader said.
The G-77 chairman said he will continue to hold talks with Topfer over the coming months. We have been advising Dr Topfer to review and reduce administrative costs and improve the implementation of work programmes, particularly with regard to the UNEP budget and the role of UNEPs regional office, he said.