The first UN-Habitat Assembly concluded in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on Friday with delegates endorsing resolutions to boost renewal of world’s cities.
More than 3,000 delegates who attended the five-day meeting adopted a three-year strategic plan whose implementation will boost the health of cities and towns.
“The delegates also adopted guidelines on safer cities and human settlements,” Martha Delgado, UN-Habitat Assembly president, said during the closing ceremony.
Delgado said that delegates resolved to promote gender equality and support inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlement and enhance urban-rural linkages for sustainable urbanization and human settlements.
She said that delegates agreed to enhance capacity-building for the implementation of the new urban agenda and the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Delgado said that the resolutions would give the UN-Habitat powers to inject new and innovative thinking in the management of cities and urban centers globally.
“With the latest upgrading of the UN-Habitat to an assembly, the UN agency is expected to gather and share best practices into making urban and cities better human settlement areas,” said Delgado.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat executive director, said that the resolutions gave the UN agency a new beginning and a paradigm shift toward enhancing new urban agenda.
“We intend to encourage sustainable urban development in cities globally and look at issues pertaining to climate change, migrants and displaced persons,” Sharif said.
She said that the UN agency would continue attracting best ideas from stakeholders to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sharif assured delegates that the UN agency would work very closely with member-states and other stakeholders to implement the resolutions agreed at the assembly.
The UN-Habitat Assembly was established by the UN General Assembly through a resolution endorsed in December 20, 2018, to help strengthen UN-Habitat’s mandate as its agency and focal point on sustainable urbanization.
Delgado from Mexico was elected as first UN-Habitat Assembly president alongside the board of management during the conference whose theme was “Innovation for a better quality of life in cities and communities”.
The ministerial declaration notes that the current unprecedented era of increasing urbanization constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity to promote sustainable development.
It calls for the promotion of sustainable patterns of consumption and production through various methods including smart technologies, sustainable lifestyles and resource efficiency.
The ministers recognized and fully supported the role and expertise of UN-Habitat as a focal point for sustainable urbanization and human settlements and as a center of excellence and innovation.
The theme was reflected throughout the week including in the high-level strategic dialogue and around the complex with some 90 exhibitors showing exciting new solutions.
This included the computer game minecraft for inclusive urban planning, recycling food waste for fuel, and using spatial data to effectively respond to urban incidents.
During the conference, 21 member-states made pledges amounting to 152 million U.S. dollars to boost the operations of the UN agency.
The countries that made pledges include China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, the Gambia, Germany, and Kenya.