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India unanimously elected to head UN-Habitat, the United Nations’ Human Settlements Programme

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India has been unanimously elected as the President of UN-Habitat for next two years. UN-Habitat is an organ of United Nations, which promotes environmentally and socially sustainable global human settlements. In the past, India held the presidency of UN-Habitat in 1988 and 2007.

26th Meeting of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat:

  • Consequential to India being elected as President of UN-Habitat, Venkaiah Naidu – Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation chaired the 26th Meeting of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat which began in Nairobi, Kenya on May 8, 2017.
  • The governing council is a decision making and policy making body. Its objective is to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, help the countries India unanimously elected to head UN-Habitat, the United Nations’ Human Settlements Programmeand regions in resolving human settlement problems and enhance cooperation among all countries on human settlement issues.
  • Theme of 26th Meeting of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat was “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda”.
  • In October 2016, The New Urban Agenda was adopted at United Nations Conferenceon Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador.
  • In the meeting, deliberations were held on (i) inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future, (ii) planning and financing sustainable urbanization and (iii) integrated human settlements.

On May 8, 2017, Mr. Naidu also chaired the Bureau Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development in Nairobi, Kenya.

While addressing the Governing Council of UN-Habitat, Mr. Naidu highlighted various Indian Government schemes viz. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana which are geared towards providing affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure.

About UN-Habitat:

United Nations Human Settlements Programme(UN–Habitat) is the United Nations agency which was established in year 1978, following the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) which was held in Vancouver, Canada in year 1976.

  • Headquarters of UN-Habitat is in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Joan Clos, former mayor of Barcelona and Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade of the Government of Spain is the current Executive Director of UN-Habitat.