Highlights and images for 27 May 2019



Highlights for Monday, 27 May 2019

Delegates gather for the start of the first UN-Habitat Assembly

GP2019 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
  • promoting spatial equality and justice.
  • 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.

    Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

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    Opening Plenary
    View of the dais during the opening plenary
    Plenary opens with a number of musical performances
    UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif congratulates Martha Delgado Peralta, Mexico, on her election as the President of UNHA 1
    UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif
    Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President
    Shipra Narang-Suri, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat
    Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
    Emma Stevens, Indigenous Youth Representative
    Ridwan Kamil, Governor of West Java Province, Indonesia
    Sona Jobarteh, UN-Habitat’s Goodwill Ambassador
    Moderator James Ohayo, UN-Habitat
    Delegates stand as plenary is filled to capacity
    Special Events Throughout the Day
    Susannah Price, Head of Communications Branch, UN-Habitat Secretariat; Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President; and UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif, speak during the UN-Habitat Assembly Opening Press Conference
    Young Women to Women - Promoting Inter-generational Leadership for Sustainable Urbanization
    Ministerial Roundtable on Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action: Mobilizing commitments for the UN Secretary-General's Climate Action Summit 2019
    Afternoon Plenary
    View of the dais during the afternoon plenary
    Fernando Coimbra, Chair, Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR), UN-Habitat
    Lori Dando, US Permanent Representative to the UN in Nairobi
    Delegates applaud the election of various officers
    Elias Guia Lopez, Spain
    Wallis Goelen, EU
    Celestine Ketcha Courtès, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Cameroon
    Russom Beyene, Eritrea, speaking on behalf of the African Group
    Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Construction and Housing, Russian Federation
    Hazem Shabat, Palestine, speaking on behalf of the G-77/China
    Abdou Karim Fofana, Minister of Urban Planning, Housing, and Public Health, Senegal
    Around the Venue
    Delegates speak informally before the start of plenary
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, arrives at the venue
    President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, visits various exhibitions around the venue
    UN Security around the venue
    UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif; Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, Fiji; and Martha Delgado Peralta, UNHA 1 President, during the Ministerial Roundtable
    Shipra Narang-Suri, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat (far right) helps delegates play a game of Minecraft to redesign green spaces around the UN Offices in Nairobi, demonstrating innovative ways of engaging people in urban design and planning
    The Urban Solutions Expo aimed at promoting innovative and sustainable solutions for the challenges faced by cities and communities
    Delegates discuss new ideas at one of the information booths