Next year’s Habitat III conference on cities will rope in representation
from almost every country around the world. And the conference’s outcome, known
as the New Urban Agenda,
will set global urbanization strategy for the next two decades, thus directly
impacting on more than half of humanity for the foreseeable future.
The details of the New Urban Agenda
remain in the works, with an initial draft of the document set for release in
April 2016. The process to
arrive at those details, however, is already well underway. In late
May, for instance, agencies from across the U. N.system published 22 “issue
papers” meant to offer technical snapshots of the current
global state of the thematic areas to be covered by the New Urban Agenda.
Now, in an effort to expand access to
those issue papers, a network of groups in Mexico have translated 19 of the 22
documents into Spanish. Both the Municipal Women’s Association of Latin America
and the Caribbean (FEMUM-ALC in Spanish) and the Iberoamerican Network for
Budget Equality Between Women and Men worked diligently to provide these
translated editions. The groups carried out the work under the auspices of the
Huairou Commission, which advocates globally on behalf of women’s rights.
The timing of
the translations is good. Throughout this month, the Habitat III Secretariat is accepting stakeholder input
and debate on the issue papers through an online platform known as the Urban Dialogues.
Starting next month, both the issue
papers and the Urban Dialogues feedback will be used by some 200 experts, organized into
10 “policy units”, to offer specific recommendations on the writing
and implementation of the New Urban Agenda — essentially, coming up with the
draft of the document’s first draft.
The translated issue papers can be
11. Espacio público
17. (Untranslated: Cities and
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management)
21. (Untranslated: Smart Cities)
22. (Untranslated: Informal