UN-HABITAT Governing Council Adopts Resolution on Cities and Climate Change

Delegates stand to congratulate students of the Youth Empowerment Programme. L-R: Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP; Inga Bjork-Klevby , Deputy Executive Director, UN-HABITAT; Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT; Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President, Kenya; Soita Shitanda, Minister for Housing, Kenya; Michael Werikhe, Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Uganda; and Rolf Wichmann, Secretary, UN-HABITAT Governing Council.3 April 2009: The 22nd session of the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 30 March- 3 April 2009, and brought together close to 800 delegates from 104 countries, representing national governments, NGOs, and local governments and their associations. The Governing Council adopted a resolution on cities and climate change and requested the UN General Assembly to convene a third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development.

The Council also adopted a resolution on affordable housing finance, which Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT Executive Director, cited as a major milestone. She stressed the importance of affordable housing and accessible urban infrastructure and basic services in tackling persistent urban poverty, noting that they are “key ingredients to ensuring that our cities and communities can better withstand the effects of climate change.” At the concluding session, Clifford Everald Warmington, Jamaican Minister of State for water and housing and President of the Governing Council, noted the relevance of the HABITAT Agenda in these times of financial turmoil and climate change. [UN-HABITAT press release] [UN-HABITAT Executive Director's speech] [22nd Governing Council's website]