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UN Habitat Harps On Sustainable Urban Development

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has reiterated the need for the UN Member States to support and work towards promoting sustainable urban development for the common good of humanity.

UN-Habitat is the UN’s entity responsible for sustainable urbanization. It has programmes in over 90 countries that support policymakers and communities to create socially and environmentally sustainable cities and towns.

The UN agency also promotes transformative change in cities through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance, and collaborative action.

UN-Habitat also harped on the need to strengthen effective multilateralism to create more livable, sustainable, and resilient cities to emerge stronger after crises.

This was contained in a statement to announce the UN-Habitat Assembly holding in Nairobi, Kenya. The event which is scheduled for 5 to 9 June, is hosted by the government of Kenya in collaboration with UN-Habitat.

The theme of the session is, “A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in times of global crises”.

The Assembly is the global authority on urban trends and policies. It convenes once in four years. 193 UN Member States cast their votes, while participants also include non-Member States, other UN bodies and specialized agencies, as well as intergovernmental organizations, civil society, private sector, academia and research institutions, women, youth and children, and grassroots organizations.

The five-day programme includes a high-level dialogue of the heads of state, thematic debates, and dialogues focusing on universal access to affordable housing, urban climate action, urban crises recovery, localization of the SDGs, and prosperity and local finance.

According to the statement, more than 80 Ministers and Vice Ministers, plan to attend the second session of the UN Habitat Assembly. Almost 5,000 delegates from around the world are representing member states and stakeholders at the Assembly.

More than 80 Ministers and Vice Ministers, plan to attend the second session of the UN Habitat Assembly. Almost 5,000 delegates from around the world are representing member states and stakeholders at the Assembly.

The President of Kenya, William Ruto, will open the Assembly. The First Lady of Kenya, Rachel Ruto, will host the inaugural First Ladies Roundtable on women and their role in placemaking in cities on 6 June 2023.

In addition, more than 30 side events will showcase innovative approaches and transformative actions linked to the five key areas highlighted in the report of the Executive Director on the special theme of the second UN Habitat Assembly.

“At the Urban Expo, more than 50 exhibitors will showcase urban projects, best practices, and cutting-edge solutions to tackle the challenges of housing, transport, energy, and climate change. The expo includes a special highlight showcasing 45 years of sustainable urbanization in Kenya”, the statement added.

Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif said issues relating to building better and sustainable cities should be prioritized and handled from a holistic perspective.

“We must flip the script about cities. Cities are not only the source of problems. They can create and scale solutions. If planned, built, and managed well, they are the most sustainable form of human settlement and the answer to the climate emergency. Local action and effective and inclusive multilateralism are indispensable for global progress”, she stressed.

During the event, the UN Member States will cast their votes with a number of resolutions expected to be tabled to guide regional, national, and local governments to secure a better urban future for all.

The areas to be covered include, international guidelines on people-centered smart cities,   accelerating the transformation of informal settlements and slums by 2030World Clean-up Daybiodiverse and resilient cities, localization of the SDGs, and adequate housing for all

The five-day session will conclude with a Ministerial Declaration upon reaching an agreement.


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