HIC-HLRN: New Ways to Work with UN Habitat
ABU DHABI—At a networking event in the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF) to consider a new UN Habitat “Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism for Sustainable Development,” HIC-HLRN presented its contribution to the current discussion about the eventual methods and functions of UN Habitat’s partnership with civil society, local governments and authorities, and the private sector. The presentation by HLRN coordinator Joseph Schechla fulfilled HLRN’s part of a commitment shared by nine civil society representatives at the first UN Habitat Assembly in May 2019 who volunteered to form an Institutional Mechanism Working Group (IMWG)* in order to propose the outlines of structures for stakeholders to cooperate with the new UN Habitat governance. The IMWG pledged to submit its proposals by WUF 10 at Abu Dhabi, 8–13 February 2020.
The HIC-HLRN proposal aligns with UN General Assembly (GA) resolution A/RES/72/226 which, in 2018, called for UN Habitat’s reform and established a UN Habitat Assembly with universal State membership meeting every four years, and an Executive Board convening two or three times each year. The GA also had called for UN Habitat’s new executive director (ED) to present a stakeholder-engagement policy by February 2019. However, that policy has not yet materialized, and the ED called upon the Executive Board to for a working group on the subject in November 2019.
In the meantime, the HIC-HLRN proposal serves as the first initiative toward the mechanism(s) to engage with UN-Habitat in its ambitious normative and operation roles in supporting governments to develop human settlements globally. The proposal takes the form of a review of stakeholder mechanisms around UN Habitat and across the UN System, proffering the best examples for a system by which three broad sectors (civil society, local governments/authorities and the private sector) self-organize, as the UN-Habitat has urged, to form their own internal governance, modeled after the precedents of UN Environment at Nairobi and the Rome-based UN agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP and CFS).
Read the full version of the HIC-HLRN study and proposal (in English).
Read the Executive Summary in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
Copy of side-event presentation.
* The nine volunteers of the Institutional Mechanism Working Group were:
Louisa Bravo, City Space Architecture (Italy)
Magdelena Garcia, Huairou Commission (Mexico)
Elisabeth Markham,Ntengwe for Community Development (Zimbabwe)
Maite Rodríguez Blandón, Huairou Commission/GROOTS (Guatemala)
John Mwaiseghe, Included East Africa (Kenya)
Joseph Schechla, HIC-HLRN (Egypt)
Jeff Soule, American Planning Association (USA)
Anne Wamaitha, GROOTS Kenya
George Wasonga, Civil Society Urban Development Platform (Kenya)
Photo: HIC-HLRN Coordinator Joseph Schechla listens to during discussion of the HIC-HLRN presentation at the “Stakeholder Engagement Mechanism for Sustainable Development” networking event, WUF 10, 9 February 2020. Source: Luise Steinwachs, Brot für die Welt.