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UN HABITAT and BASF Sign Agreement on Joint Tsunami Response


At the 20th UN HABITAT Governing Council, held on 4-8 April 2005 at UN Headquarters in Nairobi, German Global Compact participant BASF and UN HABITAT exchanged letters of intent to jointly respond to the devastating impact of the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean region.
In her remarks, Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN HABITAT, stated that BASF, beyond its contribution of US-$ 500,000, will “add value through the provision of technologies and capacities to UN HABITAT’s integrated approach to sustainable relief, reconstruction and long-term urban development”.
She further urged participants not to forget the “‘silent Tsunami’ affecting developing countries: widespread poverty, the AIDS pandemic, crises such as in Sudan and Congo, the one billion slum dwellers, among others”.
Dr. Tibaijuka said that this major and innovative partnership with BASF for UN HABITAT is a model for the UN cooperation with the private sector within the Global Compact and announced “that this will be the starting point for a private sector partnership programme at UN HABITAT”.
BASF International Law Advisor Dr. Andreas Blüthner, on behalf of the company’s Vice-CEO Eggert Voscherau, elaborated on two projects - one supporting sustainable reconstruction with UN-HABITAT, the other (in cooperation with UNEP) focusing on the clean-up of soil contaminated by the Tsunami. He described both efforts as ways to “unite complementary strengths where the rubber hits the street, in concrete activity at the ground for the benefit of those affected by the Tsunami.”
Participants of the signing ceremony agreed that this public-private partnership demonstrates the ability of the Global Compact to stimulate positive change in support of the Millennium Development Goals as well as the ten principles of the Global Compact.
For more information, please contact Mr. Günter Karl, Office of the Executive Director, UN HABITAT, at guenter.karl@unhabitat.org.