The New Urban Agenda: Bringing urban development back to the sustainability track

Habitat III process is entering into a full negotiation mode.

Habitat III Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda 

Habitat III Local Authorities Hearings on 16-17 May 2016

Global Task Force at Habitat III Local Authorities Hearings- #Listen2Cities

ICLEI Response to Habitat III Zero Order Draft "Rich in aspirations for action, Weak in mechanisms for implementing a transformative urban agenda"

ICLEI aligns with the initial reactions of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments and welcomes this draft as Rich in aspirations for action, but weak in mechanisms for implementing a transformative urban agenda.

ICLEI further welcomes:

1- The inclusive and innovative consultation process with various thematic meetings hosted by local governments.
2- The integration of new and innovative concepts around urban development, including concepts such as the right-to-the-city and the need for increase metropolitan governance.
3- The inclusion of proposals from stakeholders, such as reserving 20 percent of national budgets to local governments and the adoption of a UN Decade for Sustainable Urbanization.

ICLEI also recommends that:

1- SDG 11 on cities and the other SDGs be more strongly anchored in the NUA.
2- National governments make real commitments to action and specify concrete mechanisms for implementation.
3- Local and subnational sustainability action enhance global, multilateral efforts with the provision of sufficient capacity and resources.


Highlights of key ICLEI priorities before UN Member States entering into a negotiation mode of the Habitat III process

The 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) has concluded regional and thematic consultations and will advance with the negotiations of the outcome document.

This new phase started with the Open Ended Informal Consultation Meetings (OEICM) held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 25-29 April 2016.

It will continue with the release of the first draft of a negotiation document in early May, followed by informal negotiations including hearings with Local Authorities in May and with civil society in June, Preparatory Committee in July in Surabaya and the final conference in Quito in October.

ICLEI notes that Habitat III process will be conducted in the light of the 2 realities;

a) The Urban World, which introduces significant challenges and opportunities

b) The Age of Sustainability, where global community, through the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement in particular, is now on track to fulfill the promises they have committed 25 years ago at the 1992 Earth Summit that concluded with the Agenda 21 – the sustainability agenda for the humanity in the 21st Century.

Over these more than 2 decades of concerted efforts, the urban community achieved significant success in particular in areas like biodiversity, climate change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable procurement in engaging all levels of government in the global efforts.

We sincerely recommend Habitat III should build upon these achievements and make sure that the New Urban Agenda leads into a sustainable urban development globally and enable the global community to enjoy the transformative power of the Urban World.

The question for Habitat III is now how to lead, guide, facilitate or support this transformation, taking into account the universal nature of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement adopted by Heads of States, where the first includes a specific goal 11 on cities and human settlements and the latter recognizes the importance of engagement of all levels of governments, and non-Party stakeholders, including cities and other subnational authorities.

Within this scope, in addition to supporting the positions of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments and General Assembly of Partners, ICLEI highlights 3 priorities;

1- Anchoring SDG:11 and other SDGs into NUA
The NUA must be the universal driving frame to achieve a rapid implementation of SDG:11 and the other SDGs. As such, the NUA should be the home for SDG:11, in pursuit of attaining all the other goals as well.

2- The NUA at the National Level
The NUA must enable national governments to commit to national sustainable urban planning processes that features effective and democratic multi-level government cooperation and action building upon the experiences, practices and spirit of Chapter:28 of Agenda 21.

3- The NUA at the Global level

The NUA must enable the engagement of all levels of governments in the global governance of sustainability through innovative, integrated, inclusive governance approaches and mechanisms at UN level, pursuant to para 42 of the Rio+20 Outcome Document and preamble para.15 of Paris Agreement opened for signature on 22 April 2016.

Within this scope, ICLEI will support a global partnership for a Decade on Sustainable Urbanization, in collaboration with the One-UN system including the UN Subnational Climate Action Hub, Friends of Sustainable Cities, Global Task Force and General Assembly of Partners.


Habitat III Links

- Habitat III Official Homepage

- Habitat III UN Paper Smart Portal for documents and statements

- Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments

- General Assembly of Partners

- Cities Alliance Habitat III Joint Work Programme

- Communitas Coalition

- IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin HabitatIII Coverage

- Citiscope Habitat III Coverage


ICLEI Habitat III Links

Intervention on behalf of Global Task Force at the OEICM on 27 April

Presentation at the 8th European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference in Bilbao on 28 April

Input to Habitat III Thematic Meeting on Finance in Mexico City on 3 April

- February Update

- Overview of 2016 Advocacy Agenda

- Habitat III PrepCom-2, April 2015


ICLEI Other links 

- Global Review of Local Sustainability 1992-2012

- Input to 2012 Rio+20 Zero Order Draft

- Position to UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015

- Briefing Sheets on SDGs and Climate (COP21)

- Inspiring Examples of ICLEI Members Advancing SDG:11 and Other SDGs

- Seoul Declaration 2015

- Seoul Strategic Plan 2015-2021

- Declaration to Ministers at COP21 in Paris

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