The second United Nations Habitat Assembly opens with a call for sustainable urban development and effective multilateralism to create more livable, sustainable, and resilient cities to emerge stronger after crises.
The Assembly is taking place from 5 to 9 June 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. It is hosted by the government of Kenya in collaboration with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
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.
“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,” said the UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, ahead of the opening. “Local action and effective and inclusive multilateralism are indispensable for global progress.”
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.
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 United Nations 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 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. These include:
International guidelines on people-centered smart cities
Accelerating the transformation of informal settlements and slums by 2030
World Clean-up Day
Biodiverse and resilient cities
Localization of the Sustainable Development Goals
Adequate housing for all
The five-day session will conclude with a Ministerial Declaration upon reaching an agreement.
About the second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly (UNHA2):
The second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly will be held from 5 to 9 June 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the session is “A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in times of global crises.”
The United Nations Habitat 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.
About the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat):
UN-Habitat is the United Nations 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. UN-Habitat promotes transformative change in cities through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance, and collaborative action.