The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will hold the second session of the UN-Habitat Assembly at UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, from today.
In a virtual press conference by the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat Ambassador Jean Kimani and Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat Michal Mlynár, they said the theme, “A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in times of global crises,” would address the topics of the New Urban Agenda, as well as urban governance.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) established the UN-Habitat Assembly in 2018 upon dissolution of the UN-Habitat Governing Council. The Assembly is a universal body composed of the 193 UN Member States. As the governance body of the UN-Habitat, the United Nations Habitat Assembly convenes every four years. It is the highest global decision-making body on sustainable urbanisation and human settlements.
The Member States cast the votes, while participants include non-Member States, other UN bodies and specialised agencies, as well as intergovernmental organisations, civil society, private sector, academia and research institutions, women, youth and children and grassroots organisations.
Thematic debates and discussions during the five-day Assembly will focus on the universal access to affordable housing: Member States are encouraged to explore mechanisms to achieve the universal right to adequate housing and move towards removing existing barriers to affordable housing.
The Assembly plans to promote urban climate action to achieve the global commitment to stay within the 1.5˚C limit on rising temperatures by 2030. Member States are encouraged to explore realistic urban pathways for climate action and urban crises recovery; current crises are increasingly more urban, with cities very often serving as the main places of arrival for displaced people.
Member States are also encouraged to empower cities to respond to urban crises and support national recovery efforts. Under localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Assembly will look at local actions needed to advance the implementation of SDGs to meet the 2030 Development Agenda targets. Member States will also be invited to explore financial mechanisms to ensure resources are directed toward urban development and reach local levels
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