Nairobi, May 27: UN-Habitat, the United Nations Agency and focal point on sustainable urbanization, officially opened its first UN-Habitat Assembly on Monday.
This week-long event will be attended by four Heads of State, over 40 ministers and high-level representatives from 116 countries. This first UN-Habitat Assembly will be attended by over 3,000 delegates.
The UN-Habitat Assembly was established by the United Nations General Assembly through a resolution endorsed on 20 December 2018, to help strengthen UN-Habitat’s mandate. The Assembly will meet every four years.
The UN-Habitat Assembly is the highest-level decision-making body focused on sustainable urbanization and human settlements.
It has universal membership of all 193 United Nations Member States who are meeting in Nairobi to frame the global urbanization agenda, pass resolutions and provide strategic guidance to UN-Habitat in its work.
The UN-Habitat Assembly, held at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, will run for five days with a Ministerial Declaration expected on Friday. Joining senior representatives of national and local governments are civil society and NGOs, business leaders, academics, experts and other United Nations agencies.
In addition to the main event, there are over 50 side events on topics including affordable housing, the blue economy, livable Somali cities, safe cities for girls, climate action and frontier technology as well as press events on urban displacement. Other activities include youth dialogues, media training on virtual reality, a hackathon, receptions, and concerts.
The special theme for the UN-Habitat Assembly is- “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”. The CPR also endorsed the Sub-theme as: “Accelerated implementation of the New Urban Agenda towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
During the first session, The Assembly worked on to establish the Executive Board of UN-Habitat and elect its members, to review and approve the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and also review the Progress in the implementation of New Urban Agenda, among other things
Member States of the United Nation participated in the deliberations of the UN-Habitat Assembly. In addition, a State which is a member of a Specialized Agency, and the Observer Members States of the United Nations may participate in the deliberations of the UN-Habitat Assembly in the capacity of an observer.
The Assembly will also be attended by United Nations Agencies, Local authorities and non-state actors including civil society, youth and women group representatives, the private sector and the Academia.