Historical first inclusion of human rights in UN-Habitat Governing Council Resolution


8 May 2015 –
For the first time, a
specific recognition of the importance of mainstreaming human rights into the
work of UN-Habitat has been included in one of the programme’s Governing
Council Resolutions.

The text which calls the Executive Director to “…mainstream human
rights within the context of advancing the goals and mandate of United Nations
Human Settlements Programme,…” was included in Resolution 25/4
Implementation of the strategic plan for 2014-2019
, agreed upon by
Member States at the recent 25th Session of the UN-Habitat Governing

Global Significance for Human Rights Mainstreaming

The formal recognition of Human Rights in the UN-Habitat
resolution is a step up from previous approvals by the UN-Habitat Governing
 for human
rights as part of the UN Programme’s work plan and budget.

The endorsement by the Governing Council lends strong support to
the importance of mainstreaming the Human Rights-based Approach to development
cooperation. Mainstreaming of the 2003 UN Human
Rights-based Approach to Development Cooperation
 within the scope of the programme’s
mandate will ensure that human rights principles will guide programming in all
phases of the programming process.

The Human Rights-based Approach seeks to ensure that projects
are providing the best possible outcomes for those they seek to assist, while
human rights principles promote community participation and attention to
vulnerable groups.

Human Rights in the New Urban Agenda

Under, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
(Habitat III)
taking place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, the
New Urban Agenda currently focuses on promoting a new urbanization model that
contains mechanisms and procedures that protect and promote human rights.

It seeks to ensure that both the desirable outcome – sustainable
cities and other human settlements – and the process to achieve this outcome,
take account of the content and intent of international human rights
instruments. This will ultimately ensure that UN-Habitat continues to
contribute to the further realization of human rights in the Post-2015 Agenda
as well as towards the formulation of the United Nations New Urban Agenda.

* Original