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UN confirms Habitat III participation process for local and regional governments

 

Last 21 December, the UN General Assembly confirmed the specific rules and processes for the participation of local and regional governments and other stakeholders in the Habitat III process. Official participation of all these actors focuses on Preparatory Committees (PrepCom) and the Conference itself.

The General Assembly, in resolution 67/216, encouraged effective contributions from and the active participation of all relevant stakeholders, including local governments, major groups, the relevant United Nations funds and programmes, the regional commissions and specialized agencies, the international financial institutions and other Habitat Agenda partners, at all stages of the preparatory process for the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and at the Conference itself.

This resolution was concreted last December 21st, in UN resolution 70/473, which includes a specific Rule (Rule 64) on the participation of representatives of local authorities that allows them to participate in most deliberations of the conference. Moreover, the text mentions specific hearings for local authorities to be held in May 2016 and acknowledges the organization of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Authorities –which will be running in parallel to Habitat III process.

 

Rule 64 on representatives of local authorities

“Representatives of local authorities accredited to the Conference, in accordance with the arrangements set up to that effect in annex II of the present resolution, may participate, without the right to vote, in the deliberations of the Conference, the Main Committee and, as appropriate, any other committee or working group, on questions within the scope of their activities.”

Despite the fact that it does not represent the step forward hoped for 20 years on from Habitat II, this resolution still provides sound bases for local and regional governments to actively participate and influence Habitat III process. Much will be in their hands, in terms of raising visibility and bringing concrete proposals. Thus, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 Agenda towards Habitat III (strategic alliance coordinated by UCLG to contribute to the international policy making debates) will make sure to increase the visibility of local government over the coming months and to put forward concrete proposals that allow Habitat III to rely on the knowledge and experience of local and regional leaders across the world.

For its part, UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, along with Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and other members of the Global Platform for the Right to the City, will keep working for the inclusion of the Right to the City in the New Urban Agenda. To this aim, the Committee coordinates political advocacy actions regarding the preparatory documents and meetings, in order to promote faire, democratic and sustainable cities.

 

More useful information

Habitat III official website

- Deadlines for submitting accreditation applications:

  • Preparatory Committee 3: 1 April 2016
  • Habitat III Conference: 2 May 2016

Timetable of the Habitat III official process

- Habitat III 2016 events’ calendar (Citiescope)

 

Sources: Global Taskforce & UN-Habitat