UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme)

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is a United Nations programme to promote sustainable human settlements development. Founded in 1978.

The headquarters of the organization is located in Nairobi (Kenya). Executive Director: Since January 2018 — Maimuna Mohd Sharif (Malaysia).

UN-Habitat offices are present in more than 70 countries on five continents, with core tasks in 7 areas:

  1. Urban planning legislation,
  2. urban land use and management;
  3. Urban planning and design;
  4. Urban economics;
  5. Basic services in cities;
  6. Housing construction and slum upgrading;
  7. Risk reduction and rehabilitation;
  8. Urban development research and capacity development.

I. The governance structure of UN-Habitat is represented by three key governing bodies:

The UN-Habitat Assembly

The UN-Habitat Assembly consists of 193 UN Member States. The Assembly meets every five years in Nairobi, with the first meeting held in May 2019 under the presidency of Mexico.

Governing Council

The Governing Council is composed of 36 States (10 from Africa, 8 from the Asia-Pacific region, 4 from Eastern Europe, 6 from Latin America, 8 from Western Europe and North America), who are elected for a five-year term by the UN-Habitat Assembly from States representing each regional group. The Council meets three times a year.

The Governing Council has a Bureau, which includes one state each, leading the activities of its regional group (as of the beginning of 2021: Iran (APR), Egypt (Africa), Chile (Latin America), France (Western Europe, USA, Canada), Serbia (Eastern Europe)).

The Governing Council also has ad hoc Working Groups:

- on programme, budget and administrative matters;

- on the methodology of the work of the Authority;

- on the development of the policy of involving Member States in the activities of the Organ.

Committee of Permanent Representatives

The Committee of Permanent Representatives of UN-Habitat (CPR) includes all Permanent Representatives accredited to the UN Mission in Nairobi. A Joint Bureau has been established under the Committee to coordinate work with the Governing Council (Chair — Eritrea). Meets ad hoc.

Functional on supporting the activities of the principal organs of the UN-Habitat Secretariat is headed by an Executive Director.

UN-Habitat was previously managed by the Governing Council, which was dissolved by the UN-Habitat Assembly in 2019.

II. UN-Habitat produces two main publications: The Global Report on Human Settlements (“Global Report on Human Settlements”) — a complete overview of the state of human settlements around the world-and State of the World's Cities (“State of the world's cities”).

III. The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the world's largest urban development conference.

Established in 2001 by the United Nations to study one of the most pressing issues: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, the economy, climate change, and politics.

The World Urban Forum is organized and hosted by UN-Habitat. The first World Urban Forum was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2002 and has been held worldwide ever since.

The Forum has the following objectives:

- Raising awareness among stakeholders, including the general public, about sustainable urbanization;

- improving collective knowledge about sustainable urban development through inclusive open discussions, sharing best practices and effective policies;

- strengthening coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders to promote and implement the sustainable urbanization process.

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