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United Nations Human Settlements Programme

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme is the United Nations programme for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976. UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Kenya, it is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group; the mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world; the UN-Habitat mandate is derived from General Assembly resolution 3327, by which the Assembly established the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation.

The mandate of UN-Habitat is further derived from other internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, in particular the target on achieving a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum-dwellers by the year 2020. Through Assembly resolution 65/1, Member States committed themselves to continue working towards cities without slums, beyond current targets, by reducing slum populations and improving the lives of slum-dwellers. UN-Habitat works in more than 70 countries in five continents focusing on seven areas: Urban legislation and governance; the governance structure of the programme is made up of three decision-making bodies: the UN-Habitat Assembly, an Executive Board and a Committee of Permanent Representatives. The Governing Council was the decision-making body for the Programme, but it was dissolved following a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly; the assembly is a universal body composed of the 193 member states of the United Nations and convenes every four years at the Headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi.

The first assembly was held in May 2019. The presidency of the first assembly was held by Mexico. Mexico's presidency was represented by Martha Delgado Peralta the Mexican Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights; the second decision-making body of the programme is the Executive Board, made up of 36 member states elected by the UN-Habitat Assembly with representatives from every regional groups. The board meets three times annually; the Committee of Permanent Representatives of UN-Habitat is composed of all Permanent Representatives accredited to the United Nations Office at Nairobi. The UN-Habitat secretariat is headed by an Executive Director nominated by the UN Secretary-General with the approval of the UN General Assembly; the current Executive Director is Maimunah Mohd Sharif of Malaysia, appointed in December 2017. The Deputy Executive Director is Victor Kisob of Cameroon, appointed by in July 2018. Arcot Ramachandran, India, 1978-1992 Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Canada,1993-1994 Wally N’Dow, Gambia, 1994-1997 Darshan Johal, Canada, 1997-1998) Klaus Töpfer, Germany, 1998–2000 Anna Tibaijuka, Tanzania, 2000–2010 Joan Clos, Spain, 2010-2018 Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Malaysia, 2018–PresentBefore 2002, the title of the head of the programme was Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.

The World Urban Forum is an international conference dedicated to urban issues, organized by UN-Habitat. It was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and how to ensure a sustainable urban development, it is organized biennially in the years between the UN-Habitat governing councils. The World Urban Campaign is the world living platform on cities for sharing and learning on initiatives and policies driving positive change towards sustainable urbanization. Coordinated by UN-Habitat, it is a global coalition of public and civil society partners seeking to raise the urban agenda; the campaign is UN-Habitat's partners' platform for the preparation of the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development held in 2016. The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day; this is an occasion to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

It is intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of human habitat. The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award is an award given by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in recognition of work carried out in the field of human settlements development; the aim of the award is to honour individuals and institutions instrumental in improving the living conditions in urban centres around the world. The UN-Habitat World Habitat Award is presented

P. K. Rajagopalan

Pylore Krishnaier Rajagopalan is an Indian vector control scientist and acarologist, known for his pioneering contributions to the control programmes against vector-borne diseases in India. He is a former director of the Indian Council of Medical Research managed Vector Control Research Centre, Pondicherry, he graduated in 1949 from the Banaras Hindu University and obtained a Masters in Zoology with University First Rank there itself in 1951. In 1952 he joined the fledgling Virus Research Centre in Pune, worked under the supervision of some of the finest vector control specialists such as Dr T Ramachandra Rao. In recognition of his outstanding work as a young research scientist, in 1957 he was awarded a Fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation to pursue a Master's program in Public Health from the University of California, he went on to secure a Diploma in Acarology from the University of Maryland at College Park. He returned to India in 1960 and rejoined the Virus Research Centre where he was asked to lead the investigation into the mysterious Kyasanur Forest Disease in rural Karnataka.

The origins of the disease was unknown. His pioneering work on the role of migratory birds in spreading disease vectors as part of the investigation into KFD, conducted under the supervision of the eminent ornithologist the late Dr Salim Ali, led to his doctoral degree from Pune University, he was assigned as a Senior Scientist to the World Health Organisation Project on Genetic Control of Mosquitoes in New Delhi, during which time he expanded the body of knowledge on mosquito population behaviour. In 1975 he was posted to Pondicherry where he founded the Vector Control Research Centre - a research centre set up to study ecological control of vector borne diseases; the VCRC, under his leadership, contributed to the control of Japanese Encephalitis in Burdwan District. However its flagship achievement under the leadership of Dr Rajagopalan was to pioneer the technique of Biological Control, which combined minimal chemical intervention with environmental measures and the use of natural mosquito larval predators to bring down the incidence of diseases like filariasis.

This was demonstrated spectacularly over five years in Shertallai in Kerala. He has travelled extensively all over the world, he was a Rockefeller Fellow. He was WHO consultant for malaria control in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, he has published more than 200 scientific papers. He started a M. Sc. Medical Entomology course at the VCRC for the first time in India, which turned more than 100 graduates, he had guided 18 students for Ph. D. while at the VCRC. After his superannuation in 1990, he served the World Health Organization as a member of their steering committees on Filariasis and on biological control of vectors, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine, UK and is credited with several articles on vector control and acarology. He continues to write and talk on Vector Control issues to schools and research bodies. Dr Rajagopalan has worked extensively on ecological aspects of vector borne diseases for four decades on a variety of diseases in India. Summarising his vast body of work: Japanese Encephalitis and its control in several states.

Sc. Medical Entomology course at the VCRC for the first time in India, which turned more than 100 graduates, he had guided 18 students for Ph. D. while at the VCRC. Dr Rajagopalan has continuously kept himself abreast with the body of knowledge in vector biology, he has received extensive training on arboviruses from 406th SEATO research Centre, Bangkok, at the National Institutes of Health, Tokyo, at theTrinidad Regional Virus Laboratory, Port-of-Spain and at the East African Virus Laboratory in Entebbe in Uganda. He sharpened his knowledge of Malaria vector control at the Malaria Research Institute, Amani in Tanzania and on mosquito taxonomy from P. F. Mattingly at British Museum, London, he had the privilege of learning Ecology under Charles Elton at Bureau of Animal Populations, Oxford. The great Ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali, was his Ph. Having worked extensively in the field investigating diseases with unknown etiology, on the epidemiology of many vector borne diseases in the field all his life, he is a complete biologist.

He was associated with Dr Jorge Boshell and many others of the Rockefeller Foundation for two decades. In his work on the Filariasis Control Program in Pondicherry, Dr Rajagopalan learnt and applied the new field of population statistics in the field to establish a control parameter for the Program, he was awarded P. N. Raju oration award of ICMR in 1980, for his outstanding contribution in the field of vector biology and control.

Vierka Berkyová

Vierka Berkyová is a Slovak musician, the winner of the third season of Slovakia searching for a SuperStar in 2007. She is of Romani origin, she and her family lived with the singer Ida Kellarová while working on the musical adaptation of Gypsies go to Heaven, depicted in the documentary "Vierka, or The Mystery of Family B’s Disappearance", filmed by Miroslav Janek. After winning the competition, she performed around Slovakia for some time, before leaving with her extended family for the UK, where she now lives. In 2014 she started working on her new album. In 2015 she released her first English single "This Love", she has returned to Slovakia and given concerts there. 2015: "This Love" 2015: "Through the Fire"