News in 2016

Vice President Diane Dumashie attends the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)

17 - 20 October 2016, Quito, Ecuador

Habitat III, Quito Ecuador and Video link to Mr Ban kim Moon- UN Habitat Opening Address

FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie attended The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, also known as Habitat III, in Quito, Ecuador 17th to 20th October 2016

Habitat III is one of the first major global conferences to be held after the adoption of the Post-2015 development agenda.   The conference is also representative of a significant milestone emerging from over two years of preparatory meetings.

This century will see a substantial majority of the world’s population living in urban centers.  By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to double. Urbanization has been termed one of the most transformative trends of the 21st century, thereby underscoring the need to plan and monitor the course of urban development.

The Habitat III Conference mission was the adoption of a New Urban Agenda (NUA)—an action-oriented document which will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector.   

THE Habitat III successfully concluded with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda This highlight document is a policy document that will set global standards for the way cities are built, managed and inhabited.  Unlike the SDGs the New Urban Agenda is non-binding – it seeks to lay down a shared vision for those involved in urban development and informs how urban development takes place across the world. 

In the lead up to the development of the New Urban Agenda meetings and preparatory committees have deliberated for several years before the Quito conference.  Expects from all around the world were invited to make recommendations for the NUA, through ten policy units. These groups examined a range of intersecting issues, including an Expert Group meeting on Gender perspectives of the New Urban Agenda, with  contributions made by FIG Vice President D Dumashie who attended the meeting in June 2016 in New York, USA.

On its opening day, the Habitat III Conference welcomed 30,000 people, among them 10,000 international participants from 167 countries attended the different events and meetings at the Casa de la Cultura conference centre in Quito, Ecuador.  The historic centre of Quito has one of the largest; least altered and best- preserved historic centers in Latin America. Quito along with Cracow, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.

The Habitat conference happens once in every 20 years, with Habitat II being held in Istanbul in 1996 and Habitat I in Vancouver in 1976.   Habitat III is aimed at steering the course of global urbanization towards environmentally sustainable and socially equitable development pathways.

The New Urban Agenda aims at implementing the targets of Goal 11 in the Sustainable Development Goals, which specifically deals with making human cities and towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.  Key issues that were debated include climate change, as cities are responsible for 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, housing, migration, poverty, and inclusion.

In the span of four days almost 1,000 events took place, including 8 Plenary sessions, 6 High-level Roundtable sessions, 4 Assemblies, 16 Stakeholders Roundtables, 10 Policy Dialogues, 22 Special Sessions, 3 Urban Talks, an Urban Journalism Academy, 59 United Nations events, 157 Exhibition booths, 42 Village projects and over 460 side, networking, training and parallel events were organized by various stakeholders.

Crucially participants at the conference were representative of a strong and wide range of global stakeholders from national delegations, local authorities, and civil society to business and industry.  Such a high turnout is a testimony to the strong interest in the conference, in the relevance of the themes it addresses, and in taking part in the global conversation about our cities. It signals that the Habitat III Conference is a global arena where stakeholders, national and international, can ensure that their voice resonates in the discussions on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.  

The conference provides opportunities for partners and stakeholders to gather for complimentary side events, UN Habitat and partner meetings.  Accordingly, Vice President Diane Dumashie attended and contributed on:

15th October

UN Habitats Women’s Assembly, Diane provided a closing rapporteur of the group deliberations on ‘How to realise gender responsive, equitable cities and sustainable urban development, having regard to the key elements of the New Urban Agenda’ and the Sustainable development goal 5 and 11.  The output will be a voluntary commitment list to implement to ensure the priorities and plans are realised. This is expected end of 2016.

16th October

As a member of the Advisory Group on Gender Issues to the UN Habitat Executive Director (AGGI), formed in 2014.   

17th October

GLTN and Habitat for Humanity joint evening partners meeting and dinner, opened by Mr. Oumar Sylla (GLTN Head), on video link. GLTN held four important side events throughout the week including a joint meeting and partners dinner. The side events covered themes including:

  • Launching of a publication, 'Remarking the Urban Mosaic - Participatory and Inclusive Land Adjustment'
  • Special Session on Urban Land : Urban Land Management: Building the Foundations for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda
  • Building Implementable Partnerships to Realize the New Urban Agenda: Grassroots to Institutional Levels
  • Side Event: Innovative Financing for Urban Land Development with Gender Equality and Youth Rights in the Muslim World
  • Side Event focusing on Urban Land Governance and more specifically on the use of Land Development Companies for implementing the New Urban Agenda
20th October

Habitat Professionals Forum (HPF) is one of several partner clusters established by UN habitat. The HPF enables land professionals from all disciplines to contribute specifically at UN habitat and World Urban Forums on common messages and inputs.  At this meeting, a new chair was appointed for the period 2016- 2018, Mr Didier Vanculsem (ISOCARP Secretary General)

Mr Joan Close, Executive Director UN-HABITAT, opening the Women’s Assembly


GLTN and Habitat for Humanity special partners meeting: Vice President Diane Dumashie with (left to right) Danilo Antonio (GLTN) Anne Shaffer Myers (Habitat For Humanity International) and Jane Katz (Habitat For Humanity International)

AGGI Board members: AGGI Joint Chairperson Anna Falu (left) , FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie (and AGGI board member) with, Dr A Kaiya, Deputy Executive Director UN HABIAT (centre)

FIG Vice President Diane Dumashie and Danillo Antillo (GLTN) meeting at Habitat III

GLTN and Habitat for Humanity special partners meeting: Mr. Oumar Sylla (GLTN Head) opening joint evening session on (19th October)


Group photo of HPF, Incoming President situated [middle]

Dr Diane Dumashie FRICS, Vice President FIG


"It is all about networking..."

20 December 2016