Invitation to Participate in the Habitat III Processes on the Occasion of World’s Habitat Day 2015


HIC continues to fight for the basic principles that must be taken into account in the preparations for the Third United
Nation’s Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Conference (Habitat III) to
take place in Quito in October 2016. These basic and inter-related principles

1. A comprehensive evaluation of
the commitments made at
Habitat II (1996);

2. Human rights and democratic governance
approaches must continue to anchor and guide global human settlement policy and
corresponding commitments;

3. A Habitat Agenda that ensures
balanced rural and urban development for all, as agreed at Habitat I (1976),
and not only UN-Habitat’s own “urban” agenda in Habitat III (2016).

4. An open process that
encourages and ensures the participation of everyone, ensuring a proper representation
of all constituencies.

One year before the Conference, HIC observes with serious concerns how
the process toward Habitat III is speeding up without taking the necessary
corrective measures regarding participation and content. The official process continues
to advance without the needed participation of all
Habitat Agenda Partners. HIC’s
Members, Friends and Allies have denounced globally the opacity of the national
processes, the low representation of National Habitat Committees and the weakened
participation of civil society actors in the drafting of National Reports that
will serve—if they exist—as the basis for the Regional Reports and as a
reference for the new Agenda. With a few exceptions, these processes have been
closed and their content does not reflect the views and proposals of the vast
majority of civil society, while organizers have developed no methodology for
the engagement of civil society.

At the same time, and unless proper measures are taken, the Agenda resulting
from Habitat III runs the risk of the Habitat II Agenda’s fate: being lauded one
day and round filed the day after. Not much, if anything, has been done
to evaluate the implementation of
the Habitat II Agenda
, and it remains to be seen what
will be the mechanisms and indicators for monitoring and evaluating the new
Agenda’s implementation, in close relation to the recently approved Sustainable
Development Goals (Development Agenda 2030).

Consistent with SDGs 1, 2, 5, 11 and 16, we call for a new Habitat
Agenda to emphasize the equitable use of the land, which binds all stakeholders,
in particular ensuring its social function in favor of needy, dispossessed and
marginalized groups, not least of whom include women, indigenous peoples,
small-scale farmers and tenure-insecure communities. The Habitat II Agenda also
ensured the optimal use of productive rural and urban land, while preserving
our common environment. Despite the Habitat II Agenda enshrining repeated
commitments to these principles, no party has assumed responsibility for their
coordinated implementation over the past 20 years. That omission has
accompanied the continuous violation of the human rights resulting from land
deprivation, as verified by data captured in the HIC Housing and Land Rights
Violation Database.

In light of this situation and considering the absence of any corrective
measures in the Habitat III process to date, HIC’s Members, Friends and Allies are
organizing a series of processes alternative to the official one, including (1)
the creation of
popular committees and the
organization of national and regional parallel events in different
countries and opened to the
participation of everyone; (2) the drafting of
National and Regional Parallel Reports, summarizing the analysis,
demands, expectations and proposals from divers civil society Actors, as well
as evaluating Habitat II Agenda performance; and (3) the celebration of a Urban
Social Forum parallel to Habitat III; i.e., an open and inclusive forum for
discussion and coordination of struggles and experiences growing in all corners
of the planet. These efforts coincide with HIC’s 40th anniversary of
its founding in the Habitat I process of 1976.

We invite everyone to join these actions. Together we will have a
stronger voice. Habitat international Coalition demands that people be at the
core of the new Agenda, an Agenda for all that guarantees democratic, fair and
sustainable cities and territories.

For more information:

Link to HLRN’s Habitat III Archive

Link to HIC General Secretariat page

Link to HIC’s Habitat III blog.

Link to actions from Members and Friends
in the frame of the WHD.

Get involved:

* Click here to download the invitation.