|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Joan Clos of Spain New Executive Director of United Nations
Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
Following nomination by the Secretary-General, the General Assembly, on 25 August 2010, elected Joan Clos of Spain as Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.
He succeeds Anna Tibaijuka, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedicated service to the Organization and her commitment in leading UN-Habitat.
Mr. Clos brings to this position, a combination of diplomatic skills and hands-on experience in the management of urban issues. He is currently the Ambassador of Spain to the Republic of Turkey. Previously, he served as Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, from 1997 to 2006, Mr. Clos served as Mayor of Barcelona and Chairman of the Metropolitan Greater Area of Barcelona. In this role, he implemented a far-reaching investment programme in the city of Barcelona, including the Barcelona 22@ Project, enlargement of the Barcelona tram and subway network and the Barcelona Social Low-cost Housing Plan 2000-2010.
In his previous activities (1985-1991) he commanded the regeneration programme of downtown Barcelona (Ciutat Vella), the most difficult and deprived district of the city including the city port, one of the biggest rehabilitation projects at this time in Europe, which was carried out in parallel to the investment programme for the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. He began his local government activities as Director of the Public Health Department of Barcelona in 1979, and led the investigation team that established the causal relationship between severe asthma attacks and exposure to a specific class of soybean dust.
Mr. Clos is expected to bring to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme proactive leadership and strategic direction in enhancing UN-Habitat’s role as a key player in sustainable urban development. He was chairman of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNCLA), the advisory body of local governments to the UN-Habitat Executive Director, from 1998 to 2005. In the context of the Forum of Cultures Barcelona 2004, the second World Urban Forum (WUF) was celebrated and confirmed the relevance of this initiative.
Born in Parets del Vallés, Barcelona in 1949, Mr. Clos is married with two children. Mr. Clos graduated with a medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and studied his speciality in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
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