Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat, UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, and Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President, gavel UNHA 1 to a close.
On Friday, the first UN-Habitat Assembly (UNHA 1) concluded its deliberations, adopting a Ministerial Declaration, five resolutions, and one decision to promote sustainable urbanization. The resolutions concern:
The Strategic Plan for the period 2020–2023;
UN System-Wide Guidelines on Safer Cities and Human Settlements;
Enhancing capacity-building for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
Achieving gender equality through the work of UN-Habitat to support inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements; and
Enhancing urban-rural linkages for sustainable urbanization and human settlement.
The decision highlights the arrangements for the transition towards the new governance structure of UN-Habitat, and the Ministerial Declaration portrays the commitment for accelerated implementation of the NUA towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the closing plenary, delegates adopted the draft report and the draft proceedings of UNHA 1 as well as the report of the first meeting of the Executive Board.
In her closing remarks, Executive Director Sharif announced that “UN-Habitat is back” and lauded the Assembly for successfully completing its work, noting that 21 countries had pledged USD 152 million to support the implementation of the NUA. President Delgado gaveled the meeting to a close at 5.17 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and also produced a summary report from the 1st Session of the UN-Habitat Assembly, which is available in HTML and PDF.
A delegate tests out a virtual reality headset to explore the 10th World Urban Forum to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
On Thursday, the UN-Habitat Assembly (UNHA 1) elected its Executive Board and hosted its first Board meeting. The Executive Board elected Lori Dando (US) as Chair, and adopted its agenda and rules of procedure.
In plenary, delegates heard national statements. A high-level session on innovative mobility for sustainable cities in Africa took place in the afternoon, exploring the policy dimensions of urban mobility.
Three youth events engaged in an inter-regional dialogue; shared innovative approaches to Community Centers; and presented the Nairobi Hackathon Award.
Seven events were held on the City Stage, on: a city changer game; house for all; a film screening on the sound of waste; the Makerthon Elevator Pitch; the World Environment Day; cutting-edge approaches to housing design; and earth observations and geospatial information technologies in support of sustainable development and urban monitoring. A Women’s event provided a platform for sharing new approaches, key events, and engagement opportunities for grassroots women, women leaders, and organizations.
A press conference focused on urban displacement and sustainable development, and two press center events addressed the effectiveness of planning law in sub-Saharan Africa and innovative solid waste management approaches.
Fifteen side events were held at lunchtime and in the afternoon, focusing on, inter alia:
affordable housing and sustainable solid waste management as drivers of innovation;
fostering innovation to accelerate implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and ways to finance it;
blue economy and cities;
new perspectives and strategic interventions integrating slums and informal settlements as well as implementing the NUA in these settlements; and
strengthening urban-rural linkages to reduce spatial inequalities and poverty.
In the evening, a reception was organized by Nairobi City County and a Cities4All Concert brought together musicians, actors, and spoken word performers, with live streaming from concurrent concerts in Dandora, Mathare, and Kibera, all informal settlements in Nairobi.
+ Read the UN-Habitat Bulletin for Thursday, 30 May 2019 in HTML or PDF format
Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President
Lisa Stadelbauer, High Commissioner of Canada in Nairobi, speaking on behalf of Canada and Australia
Elizabeth Taylor, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Delegates gather for the first meeting of the Executive Board.
Panel speakers for Policy-Making (L-R): Moderator Oliver Lah, Wupperthal Institut, Germany; Jane Akumu, UN Environment Programme (UNEP); Damia Calvet i Valera, Regional Minister of Territory and Sustainability, Catalonia, Spain; James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, Kenya; Claver Gatete, Minister of Infrastructure, Rwanda; Tazer Gebreegziabher Berha, State Minister, Ministry of Urban Development and Construction, Ethiopia; and Noureddine Selmi, Minister of Equipment, Housing and Territorial Planning, Tunisia
(L-R): Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Yemen; President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya; Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji; UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif; President Salva Kiir, South Sudan; and Monica Juma, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kenya
On Wednesday, the first UN-Habitat Assembly (UNHA 1) hosted its High-Level Segment. The opening session featured statements from: Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan; Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji; and Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Prime Minister of Yemen. UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif and UNHA 1 President Martha Delgado Peralta also made opening remarks.
Three high-level interactive thematic dialogues took place during the day, focusing on:
innovation for better quality of life in cities and communities;
implementation, partnerships and good practices for cities and communities; and
investing in urban innovation for business.
The drafting committee continued its work, addressing draft resolutions on: gender equality to support inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities; UN system-wide guidelines on safer cities; and enhancing urban-rural linkages for sustainable urbanization and human settlements. A draft resolution on access to, and the interrelationship between, urban social infrastructure was briefly discussed.
A number of events took place throughout the day. The Partnerships and Pledging Conference aimed at attracting additional funds for the implementation of UN-Habitat’s work programme, raised over USD 150 million. The Local and Regional Governments Forum discussed the role of local authorities in implementing the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the 2030 Agenda.
Three youth events shared innovative ideas and projects; discussed the participation of young people in peace processes, dispute resolution, and conflict prevention; and highlighted successes of youth-led development in Latin America.
Four events were held on the City Stage on: public participation in urban and public space design; uptake of water and sanitation innovations; art as a solution; and housing innovation of inclusive cities. A Women’s event provided a platform for sharing new approaches, key events, and engagement opportunities for grassroots women, women leaders, and organizations.
Two press conferences focused on the Partnerships and Pledging Conference, and the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF 10) as well as the case of illegal waste in Ngong Town, Kajiado County, Kenya.
Ten side events were held at lunchtime, focusing on, inter alia:
science, technology, innovation, and human behavior;
localizing the NUA and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
building climate resilience for the urban poor;
strengthening urban finance for sustainable development;
human rights-based approaches to meet the SDGs and NUA targets for women, youth, and children; and
the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and resilience in Arab cities.
In the evening, a reception was organized by the United Arab Emirates as host country of WUF 10.
+ Read the UN-Habitat Bulletin for Wednesday, 29 May 2019 in HTML or PDF format
Moderator Julie Gichuru, Media Personality, Kenya
President Salva Kiir, South Sudan
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Yemen
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
Panel speakers for the event (L-R): Moderator Julie Gichuru; Wallis Goelen, European Commission; Irene Campos Gómez, Minister of Housing and Human Settlement, Costa Rica; Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President, Nouakchott Regional Council; Siraj Sait, Director, University of East London; and Elin Olsson, State Secretary to the Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Sweden
Delegates consult informally during the first session of the Drafting Committee
On Tuesday, the UN-Habitat Assembly continued its deliberations at the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON), Kenya. Delegates listened to regional and national statements, which focused on efforts to promote the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and sustainable urban development. The Drafting Committee commenced its deliberations, addressing draft resolutions on:
achieving gender equality through the work of UN-Habitat to support inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements;
arrangements for the transition towards the new governance structure of UN-Habitat;
the strategic plan for the period 2020–2025; and
enhancing capacity building for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).
A number of events took place throughout the day. Two special events focused on the Gender Forum on Women and the NUA, and the One United Nations Dialogue respectively. Three youth events convened and considered ways to develop people-centered partnerships, technology use, and the inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, and intersex (LGBTI) community in sustainable urbanization.
Five events were held on the City Stage, highlighting: the future of storytelling; partnerships with academia to leverage local innovations; sustainable energy for urban communities and urban policy action tools; innovative governance in public housing policies; and resilient housing to achieve resilient communities.
Two press conferences discussed the Waste Wise Cities Campaign and the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme. Additionally, two press center events addressed intermediary cities and the reduction of social and spatial inequalities in Morocco, and innovative ways to achieve SDG 11 in Brazil.
10 side events were held at lunchtime, focusing, inter alia, on:
low-carbon and resilient urban infrastructure;
accelerated implementation of the NUA to contribute towards achieving the SDGs;
open data and tools for the NUA as well as integrated and sustainable urban mobility;
creating safe and inclusive cities with and for girls in the NUA;
enhancing inclusive economy and reducing spatial inequality in West Java, Indonesia; and
funding mechanisms to reduce inequalities and poverty.
+ Read the UN-Habitat Bulletin for Tuesday, 28 May 2019 in HTML or PDF format
Delegates gather in plenary to hear national statements
Ildemaro Villarroel, People's Power Minister for Housing and Habitat, Venezuela
Irene Campos Gómez, Minister of Housing and Human Settlement, Costa Rica
Delegates read the draft resolutions on the screen during the Drafting Committee meeting
One United Nations Dialogue - Implementing the UN System-wide Strategy on Sustainable Urban Development (L-R): UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif; Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP); Mounir Tabet, UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (UNESCWA); Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President; Elin Olsson, State Secretary to the Minister for Financial Markets and Housing and Environment, Sweden; Mukhisa Kituyi, Director-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Charles Hinga, Kenya; and Moderator Chris Williams, UN-Habitat
Delegates gather for the start of the first UN-Habitat Assembly
On Monday, the inaugural UN-Habitat Assembly (UNHA 1) started its deliberations at the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON), Kenya. Delegates elected Martha Delgado Peralta, Mexico, as President of the Assembly, as well as regional Vice-Presidents, members of the Executive Board, and other officers, and adopted the meeting’s agenda and rules of procedure.
In his opening address, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, emphasized that the world “is currently ill-prepared to plan effectively for rapid urbanization,” urging for international cooperation to fulfill UN-Habitat’s mandate. Participants also listened to opening statements by, inter alia: UN Secretary-General António Guterres, via video; Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Acting Director-General, UNON, and UN-Habitat Executive Director; UN-Habitat Assembly President Delgado; Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director, UN Environment Programme; and Ridwan Kamil, Governor of West Java Province, Indonesia.
The UN-Habitat Assembly heard reports from Fernando Coimbra, Brazil, Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, as well as from Executive Director Sharif on UN-Habitat activities, including on progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Throughout the day, several platforms were opened, including the Urban Solutions Expo, the City Stage, and the Youth Tent. Delegates also attended two special events, including a ministerial roundtable on infrastructure, cities and local action to mobilize commitments for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, and a women’s event on promoting inter-generational leadership for sustainable urbanization.
Twenty-two side events took place during the day focusing on, inter alia:
planning for climate action, including modern, low carbon, and inclusive public transport;
innovative financing and engagement strategies for urban development, as well as efforts to close the infrastructure gap;
regional and national sustainable urban initiatives;
integration of migrants in urban areas;
community-driven data, local participation, and multi-stakeholder partnerships for innovative inclusive cities at the local, national and international levels; and
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