21st UN-Habitat Governing Council

FIG strengthens its role in co-operation with the UN-Habitat on tenure issues

Nairobi, Kenya, 13-20 April 2007

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Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka and President Stig Enemark in discussion on future co-operation between FIG and UN-Habitat and the joint seminar in Stockholm in June 2008.

Prof. Stig Enemark, President of FIG and the FIG Director attended the 21st Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat in Nairobi 16-20 April 2007. The Governing Council meeting was preceded by the Business Partnership for Sustainable Urbanisation stakeholders meeting that UN-Habitat Organised for the first time for the private sector partners. FIG was invited to attend this meeting on behalf of the Habitat Professionals Forum. During the week the FIG representatives attended several meetings and sessions organised by the Habitat Professionals Forum and the Global Land Tool Network. They also had several bilateral meetings with the leaders of UN-Habitat and other partners. President Enemark visited also the University of Nairobi and the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK).

The 21st Session of the Governing Council was attended by more than 900 delegates from 92 countries and joined by 231 representatives of NGOs and 61 representatives of local governments and their associations. The five-day meeting included representatives of other UN bodies, international financial institutions, professional associations, women and youth groups, and the private sector. Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-Habitat said in her final statement that the Governing Council reaffirmed fresh support for the agency after passing 10 resolutions aimed at taking the battle against urban poverty closer to slum dwellers than ever before. The governments passed two landmark resolutions. One gives the agency the go-ahead to set up experimental financial mechanisms for pro-poor housing and infrastructure, and the other is a new Medium-term Strategic and Institutional Plan. Mrs. Tibaijuka said in a closing speech on the financial resolution, that it would provide the means for the agency to strengthen its role as a pre-investment catalyst, for bringing local initiatives in pro-poor housing and infrastructure to scale. Other resolutions included new guidelines on Decentralisation and strengthening of local authorities, Guiding principles for providing basic services, a resolution on Arctic cities, Urban youth development, and the approval of the biennial work programme. The Governing Council meets every two years to set the agency’s work programme and budget.

The work of the Governing Council was divided in administrative meetings (plenary sessions and drafting committees), dialogues with the partners and parallel events. The number of parallel events was this time smaller than normally as one full day was designated for dialogues. Stig Enemark made a speech at the roundtable on pro-poor land management for sustainable urbanization that was part of the Global Land Tool Network activities. FIG's contribution to GLTN is in the very focus of the Council work plan for the next four years and will result in different projects in near future. President Enemark also attended the Advisory Board of the GLTN that followed the Governing Council.

Other meetings during the week included the meeting of the Habitat Professionals Forum. At this meeting the role of the HPF was discussed and support to developing it to the main partner representing all professionals was received from Mrs. Tibaijuka and Mrs. Inga Klevby, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat. It was also agreed that the HPF will organise a Roundtable at the 4th World Urban Forum in Nanjing, China in September 2008. Stig Enemark was elected as the Chair of the HPF for the next two years. The new focal point in UN-Habitat for the HPF is Dr. Christine Auclair.

At the meeting with Mrs. Tibaijuka the close links between UN-Habitat and FIG were reconfirmed and Mrs. Tibaijuka confirmed the UN-Habitat committment and her own participation to the FIG Working Week and the Joint UN-Habitat/FIG Seminar on Slum upgrading and innovative finance mechanisms in Stockholm in June 2008.

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The first BPSU meeting prior to the Governing Council attracted about 100 participants all over the world to discuss the contribution of private sector in slum upgrading.

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Participants of the BPSU meeting outside the UN Headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.

 

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The 21st Governing Council gathered more than 1,000 participants to the UN-Habitat Headquarters in Gigiri.
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President Stig Enemark attends for the first time the UN-Habitat Governing Council.
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President Enemark making his address at the Roundtable on Global Land Tool Network that was organised by Dr. Clarissa Augustinus, UN-Habitat Shelter Branch.
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... here with the Norwegian Minister of Housing Norway and Sweden being the main contributors to the GLTN.
 
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President Enemark in discussion with Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-Hbaitat and with Dr. Christine Auclair, new focal point for Habitat Professionals Forum.
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Nairobi is a mega city with compact downtown...
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... while major of the population is living in informal settlements.
 
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During the BPSU meeting a visit was organised to Kibera that with more than one million slum dwellers is one of the biggest slums in the world.
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Water, sewerage and waste management are the biggest problems in the slums in addition to deceases and lack of security of tenure.
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UN-Habitat together with the government and local communities has started a slum development project in East Soweto, part of the Kibera slum that the visitors had possibility to learn during their visit.
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