Secretary-General Guterres expressed his gratitude to Dr. Joan Clos for his dedicated service to the Organization on 22 December 2017, coinciding with the end of his tenure as Executive Director of UN-Habitat on 31 December 2017.

Dr. Joan Clos joined the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in October 2010, being the first mayor to occupy that position. The recognition of his leadership during the pivotal years when the world’s population became majority urban is highlighted in parallel with the development of a New Urban Agenda in 2016 and the Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) in 2015, the first development goal focused on sustainable urbanization. Both achievements were part of Dr. Clos’ strategic plan to increase the relevance of sustainable urban development in the international development agenda.

As the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), Dr. Clos helped to consolidate the transformative role that planned urbanization can and should play in achieving development, job creation, social prosperity and decent urban conditions for all.

In his last day in office, Dr. Joan Clos has addressed to the UN-Habitat staff thanking them for the efforts and hard work on positioning “the United Nations as a leading institution on urbanization worldwide in a crucial moment for the relevance of our cities and human settlements. Together we have been able to consolidate a new vision based on the strategic and intimate relationship of urbanization and sustainable development, as embraced in Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and in the New Urban Agenda.”

Dr. Clos will be succeeded by Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif of Malaysia who was elected by the General Assembly on 22 December 2017 as a new UN-Habitat Executive Director, following nomination by the Secretary-General.