Declaration of the First Global Stakeholder Forum of the First UN Habitat Assembly

The Global Stakeholders Forum gathered a diverse group of more than 200 participants from different regions working on sustainable development areas and capabilities. The gathering had the goal
ofrecalling the historic and indispensable role of partners in sustainable human settlement development since 1976, marking the need forstrong stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda,towards achieving the SDGs and in the implementation of other global agendas.

Building from the Assembly’s general theme(« Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”) the Stakeholder Forum participantscommit to innovative and more effective cooperation in delivering sustainable urbanization and development, reaffirming their historic commitment toeradicating all forms of inequality and barriers to equitable governance and development in human settlements, as practiced especially against women, female-headed households, youth, children and other marginalized groups.

Following, we summarize some of the main points of the document, of which you can read the
full version here.


  • Recognition of the State’s obligations to respect, protect and fulfil all human rights, in particular, the full and progressive realization of thehuman right to adequate housing and habitat-related human rights.
  • Commitment to work with Member States, UN-Habitat and other agencies and subnational governments to establish, operationalize and sustain stakeholder engagement to channel the diverse and many voices to the UN-Habitat Assembly and other UN-Habitat bodies.


  • The Stakeholder Engagement Policy being developed by UN Habitat and Member States should reflect the universal values of equity, openness, equal partnerships, subsidiarity, gender equality, human rights, accountability and transparency
  • Engage in collaborative action to implement the NUA, achieve the SDGs, and fulfil other global agreements related to habitat.
  • Endorsement of the co-creation of policies, programmes, frameworks, monitoring-and-evaluation efforts related to the global agreements.


  • Being pro-active in seeking and imparting information, and using technology, innovative finance, and other opportunities to use established and new channels of participation.
  • Sharing deliberations equitably, transparently and effectively.
  • Contribute evidence-informed and practical guidance for policy and implementation.


  • The realization of cities for all, referring to the equal use of cities and human settlements seeking to promote inclusivity and ensure that all inhabitants of present
    and future generations without discrimination of any kind.
  • Cities that are habitable, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient cities and human settlements that foster prosperity and quality of life for all, a vision
    that, referred to as « the right to the city”, is progressively being enshrined by national and local governments in their legislation, political declarations, and charters.
  • Adequate support from Member States and other parties for meaningful stakeholder partnership within UN Habitat

Steps Forward

  • Reformulate stakeholder roles and responsibilities underpinned by innovative approaches, inclusive practices and reciprocity among parties
  • Build on successful, inclusive and diverse platforms, networks and movements at global, regional, national, and especially at the local level.
  • Engage effectively in the programs and outcomes of the UN Habitat Assembly aligned with the UN Habitat Strategic Plan 2020–2025.
  • Welcome the new Stakeholder Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE) to advise the UN Habitat Executive Director on strengthening partnerships for sustainable urban development.
  • Strengthen and develop the Stakeholder Forum to implement the principles and commitments of this declaration leading up to WUF 2020.

The Global Stakeholder Forum was part of the activities being carried out by HIC-HLRN during and before the Habitat Assembly in order to push for more clarity and guidance for a rational and consultative approach to stakeholder engagement concerning UN-Habitat decisions and the implementation of global agendas. You can read more about it here.

Photo credit: HLRN