Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 11 - November 2014 عربى
International Developments

PrepCom1 Afterward

Subsequent to Habitat III’s PrepCom1, the UN General Assembly’s 2nd Committee has taken up the “Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)” [item 20] during its 13–17 October 2014 meetings. However, the 2nd Committee will take decisions during the final week of November meetings on the future of the Habitat III Secretariat’s composition and functions.                                

The Habitat III Secretariat should be operational shortly thereafter (January 2015). That development should clarify the channels and modes of communication among the Habitat III organizers, UN member states and the already-identified 13—and possibly more—Habitat III constituencies.

The PrepCom1 Bureau already recognized the standard ECOSOC rules of procedure that allow for ECOSOC consultative-status NGOs to participate in formal sessions. However, the more-critical decisions remain for the high-stakes PrepCom2 in Nairobi (14–16 April 2015). Those decisions will include: (1) the possible inclusion of nonconsultative-status entities to participate, (2) whether or not nongovernmental constituents will have the right to participate in debates over substance and the outcome documents, and (3) whether or not other constituencies such as “grassroots organizations” will gain formal recognition as Habitat III partners.

The coordinated Habitat Day 2014 statements of both UN-Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, inviting the “voices of the slums,” suggest high-level support for an inclusive deliberation in the Habitat III process. The HIC-HLRN’s VDB report that day also emphasized the need to embrace an assessment of Habitat II performance leading up to Habitat III.

In a more-recent function of UN-Habitat’s “world urban campaign,” the campaign convened participants in Caserta, Italy (15–18 October 2014) for an “Urban Thinkers Forum.” There, participants called for a stronger “city-we-need” consensus vision toward Habitat III that “promotes the right to the city for all” and that “respects, protects and promotes international human rights principles,” among other coherent values. A parallel session also formally proposed the formation of a General Assembly of Habitat III Partners, not limited to any set of UN-Habitat-aligned organizations.

Photo on front page: Participants in the Urban Thinkers Campus. Source: UN-Habitat; Photo on this page: His Excellency Mr. Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, chairman of the UN General Assembly’s 2nd (Economic and Financial Committee) Committee, addresses the 69th Session. Source: UN WebTV.


All rights reserved to HIC-HLRN