Inaugural Rafik Hariri UN-HABITAT Memorial Award

In March 2010 the inaugural Rafik Hariri-UN-HABITAT Memorial Award.was presented to the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A seven member international jury found Mr Erdogan deserving of the award because of his “excellent achievement and commendable conduct in the area of leadership, statesmanship and good governance”.

The chairperson of the jury, former UN Under Secretary General, Ms Mervat Tallawy said the jury was unanimous in recognizing Mr. Erdogan’s outstanding achievements during his tenure as Mayor of Istanbul between 1994 and 1997. “It was under his steady leadership and stewardship as host of the second UN Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II, during which the habitat agenda was passed, with the noble goals of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world,”  said Ms. Tallawy.

UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka said Mr. Erdogan embodied leadership, statesmanship and good governance, adding that he had contributed immensely to the Habitat agenda especially through hosting the Istanbul conference referred to as Habitat II. “He initiated the first roundtable of mayors during the Istanbul conference, which led to a global, organized movement of mayors,” she stated.

The US$200,000 Memorial Award was established as a joint effort with UN-HABITAT to commemorate the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s achievements and dedication to the reconstruction of a Lebanon torn by war. It is meant to recognize outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the development of human settlements consistent with the vision and achievements of the late Prime Minister.

The inaugural award ceremony was held during the 5th Session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 22, 2010.