Currently, the governance structure is formed by the UN Habitat Assembly, the Executive Board and the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The Assembly is composed of 193 UN Member States that meet every four years at the UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya; the Executive Board is composed of 36 UN Member States selected by the Assembly and meets three times a year; while the Committee meets every two years.
The first meeting of the three parties was held in May 2019, after the UN General Assembly dissolved the Governing Council and became the UN Habitat Assembly in December 2018.
As part of the approval of the New Urban Agenda, the UN General Assembly resolved that UN Habitat revise its governance and stakeholder-engagement structures, as at present the mechanism for carrying out this necessary dialogue remains ambiguous.
The proposal makes a historical review of the trends of civil participation in different United Nations organizations, whose origin dates back to the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Vancouver, 1976) and in the process of negotiation towards the Habitat Agenda, with a Plan of Action that explicitly recognized the role of local governments and allied civil society groups and others in its implementation. The Habitat II process (1996) observed an unprecedented “right of participation” of local governments and non-governmental organizations in its negotiations, but also highlighted their role as key parties in the implementation of the Agenda. However, this experience was not institutionalized and has not yet been established at the political level within UN-Habitat.
What is the purpose?
UN-Habitat accompanies, advises and promotes various urban development programmes around the world. For example, in Mexico it collaborates with the federal government to implement the country’s main strategic projects such as the Tren Maya (Mayan Train), the corredor Transístmico (Transisthmian corridor) and the Central American Development Plan, where the UN is called upon to support four countries in the area of migration. In addition to implementing the Índice de Prosperidad Urbana (Urban Prosperity Index) in 130 cities in the country; and the support program “Infonavit at the head of Agenda 2030: housing at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
UN-Habitat has also collaborated with the following projects in the Latin American and Caribbean region
- Caribe: Support program for planning and reconstruction of neighborhoods in Haiti; support to transform the housing sector in Cuba.
- Central America: Consolidation of peace in Guatemala through violence prevention and conflict management (Urban development and management)
- Towards Neighborhood Improvement and a Slum Eradication Policy in Costa Rica; Urban Renewal and Human Settlements in Areas Surrounding Railroads in El Salvador: Phase I; Study of Urban Prosperity in Central American Metropolitan Areas, under the Central American Program for Housing and Sustainable Habitat Development “VIDHAS” in El Salvador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, initially
- South-America: Contribution to the joint programme “Security with Citizenship in Brazilian Communities“; integrated and inclusive development of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro –The Rio+Social Programme; to enable sustainable territorial development in the State of Pará, Brazil, by concerting efforts of the public and private sectors; to support the municipal development plan “Construyamos Unidos Un Hogar Para La Vida” (“Let’s build a home for life together”) in Medellín, Colombia; implement a Sustainable Urban Development Programme for Children and Adolescents in Colombia; eliminate socio-economic stratification in Colombian cities; facilitate a new national urban development plan in Argentina; support the post-disaster reconstruction process in Ecuador; improve neighbourhoods with integrated redevelopment and comprehensive urban planning in Cuenca, Ecuador; promote local communities of solidarity with migrants and refugees from Venezuela in Peru.