Momen in Kenya to attend second UN Habitat Assembly

Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (L) and UN Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd. Sharif
Combination made by Prothom Alo

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday held a meeting with UN Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd. Sharif at her office in Nairobi, Kenya on the eve of the second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly, reports news agency UNB.

Momen shared progress over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s flagship Ashrayan project to provide free-of-cost houses on government land for the homeless and landless across the country.

Executive director Maimunah M Sharif recalled her participation at the high-level side-event on the gender-responsive, social housing project in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New York in September 2022.

Foreign minister Momen invited the executive director to visit Bangladesh soon to witness the project and its impact on the beneficiaries.

He also briefed the executive director and her colleagues about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ‘Amar Bari, Amar Khamar’ (My Home, My Farm) programme to ensure sustainable living around homesteads.

The UN Habitat chief appreciated the Bangladesh prime minister’s vision to provide civic amenities in villages through her Amar Gram, Amar Shohor (My Village, My City) programme.

The executive director urged Bangladesh to support UN Habitat’s upcoming initiatives on slum upgradation and urban housing.

She assured of continued financing and knowledge-based support for a sustainable urban future in Bangladesh.

Foreign minister Momen flagged the critical importance of addressing the issue of providing housing and services to climate migrants in urban areas.

He also mentioned the initiative taken by Bangladesh to provide safe and climate-resilient housing to the forcibly displaced Rohingya from Myanmar in Bhashan Char.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Kenya Tareque Muhammad was present at the meeting.

The 2nd UN Habitat Assembly is being held in Nairobi from 5 to 9 June around the theme of accelerating Sustainable Development Goals for a sound urban future amidst multiple global crises.

Around 4,000 participants from national and local governments, civil society and media are expected to attend.

A Bangladesh delegation comprising representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Housing and Public Works is taking part at the Assembly.

Foreign minister Momen also interacted with Bangladesh expatriates based in Nairobi at the High Commission on Sunday.