Habitat III is the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. Twenty years after the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul, Habitat III will be a major event in considering the issues faced by cities, against a backdrop marked by new urbanisation challenges. The Habitat III Conference will be held in Quito in the week starting 17 October 2016 (Resolution 66/207 of the United Nations General Assembly).
The challenge for this conference is to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urban development and to define a “New Urban Agenda”. While assessing the accomplishments achieved since the Urban Agenda was established in 1996, the objective will be to take up the fight against poverty and inequalities and to identify the new challenges for the coming twenty years.
The Habitat III Conference will be firmly interlinked with the results of the Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals and of the Climate Change Conference in 2015. It offers an opportunity to exchange views on the policies and strategies making it possible to reassert the role of cities and of local territories as drivers of sustainable development.
At the end of the Conference, a Declaration will be adopted by the Member States. Although non-binding, it will be decisive for preparing national policies. The declaration will give guidelines for the programmes and actions implemented for sustainable urban development.
Preparing for the Conference
The Executive Director of UN Habitat has been appointed Secretary-General of the Habitat III Conference. The United Nations General Assembly has set up a preparatory committee that is made up of the member countries of the United Nations and that is co-chaired by Ecuador and France. That committee has appointed a Bureau made up of 10 Member States: Ecuador, France, Germany, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Senegal, and Chad; assigned to thinking on matters of substance and on organisational matters.
The preparatory process of the Habitat III Conference is based on various levels of contributions: production of thematic documents by experts mobilised by the United Nations, setting up of think groups under the auspices of international bodies, and organisation of regional and thematic meetings. In addition, the Member States have been asked to write national reports assessing implementation of the Habitat II Agenda and identifying the issues and challenges for the coming years. All of those contributions will be used by the Bureau to prepare the draft outcome document for the Conference.
Three meetings of the preparatory committee have been scheduled before the Conference. The first took place in New York on 17 and 18 September 2014. The second is to be held in Nairobi (Kenya) from 14 to 16 April 2015. The third preparatory meeting will take place in July 2016 in Jakarta. These meetings will be key stages in defining a shared vision for a New Urban Agenda.
Thematic and Regional Meetings
In the course of preparing for the Habitat III Conference, the Member States, the local organisations, and the institutions may organise thematic or regional meetings, with the aim of making sure everyone participates in preparing the outcome Declaration of the Conference.
For more information about these meetings : http://unhabitat.org/regional-and-thematic-meetings