Working to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable: UfM Secretariat at the UN-Habitat´s Governing Council
Nairobi (Kenya), 10 May 2017. UfM Deputy Secretary General Ihab Fahmy addressed the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on the occasion of its 26th session held at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi, Kenya on 8 -12 May 2017.
This Governing Council (GC26), which takes place a few months after the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, was centred on ´Opportunities for the effective implementation of the adopted New Urban Agenda´. The meeting addressed pressing issues such as inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future, synergies and financing for sustainable urbanisation and integrated human settlements planning for sustainable urbanisation.
The GC26 was a timely opportunity for the UfM Secretariat to develop and build upon synergies and complementarity with UN-Habitat, with a view to further strengthening the institutional partnership between both organisations following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2016.
UfM Deputy Secretary General Fahmy presented the UfM activities, especially in the field of urban development, and emphasized that the Second UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, which will be held in Cairo, Egypt, on 21 and 22 May 2017, represents an important milestone towards the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated UfM Urban Agenda (#UfMUrbanAgenda), which aims to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG-11 to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, with a view to improving the quality of life of the peoples of the Mediterranean region.
UfM Deputy Secretary Fahmy held bilateral meetings with Executive Director of UN-Habitat Dr. Clos to discuss the idea of a possible Partnership Agreement to be signed between UN-Habitat and UfM Secretariat, with the aim of developing a new Multi-Partner Implementation Facility for Sustainable Urban Development. The objective of this facility is to catalyse effective, coordinated support to countries and cities towards the common aim of harnessing urbanization as a solution to barriers to sustainable development. Through this Partnership, this facility will drive solutions and investments to cities in the Mediterranean region.
He also participated in the high-level roundtable organised by UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira on financing the global New Urban Agenda where the proposed facility was introduced and the institutional partnership with the UfM Secretariat was highlighted. The meeting also gathered Senior Vice-President of the World Bank Group Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Ms. Lize Kingo, Director of the Human Cities Coalition Ms. Fleur Henderson, Deputy Secretary-General of UCLG Ms. Emilia Saiz, and – Head of Division of BMZ Mr. Franz Marre.
In addition to H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat and Mr. Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, the GC26 gathered high-level representatives from Member States and key stakeholders including parliamentarians, civil society organizations, local authorities, academia, foundations, women and youth groups, trade unions, financial institutions and the private sector, as well as organizations of the United Nations system and Intergovernmental Organizations.