G77 Nairobi Chapter Underlines Importance of New Urban Agenda

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30 2017 - Pointing out the importance of the New Urban Agenda, the chairman of the G77 chapter in Nairobi, Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Kenya, said the Agenda is a framework that lays out how cities should be planned and managed to promote sustainable urbanization.

The Member States, who met in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, agreed on a common roadmap for the next 20 years, he added, pointing out that the New Urban Agenda dovetails into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encompassing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 11 is Sustainable Cities and Communities. But the SDGs have a cross cutting nature and all Goals have to be pursued in a holistic manner, he added.

Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, he said the Group would also like to emphasize the importance of providing adequate financial and human resources to UN-Habitat based in Nairobi.

“At the same time we urge UN-Habitat to address its weaknesses with a clear headed approach.”

The significance of the 26th Session of the Governing Council (GC26), he said, was enhanced by the fact that it was held just a few months after the successful UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development held in Ecuador which adopted the New Urban Agenda.

He said the Group welcomed the holding of GC-26 last May and is confident that UN-Habitat will strive to achieve its goals by engaging developing and least developed countries with special attention to extending requisite assistance.

In this regard, the importance of transfer of technology, capacity building and canalization of financial resources cannot be underestimated.

This Group is willing to extend its full support to the organization and other partners for realization of our common goals, recognizing as a premise the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

“We are aware that an independent assessment of the organization is being undertaken. We would like to emphasize that inputs of the Nairobi-based Committee of Permanent Representatives of UN-Habitat, must be factored in. The Group is concerned at the growing trend of diminishing the importance of Nairobi which is the Headquarters of UN-Habitat. This tendency must be eschewed,” he noted.

While acknowledging the importance of engaging all relevant stakeholders, the G77 reiterated the intergovernmental nature of UN-Habitat and the need to respect its deliberations and decisions.

The Governing Council which serves as the decision making body for the United Nations Human Settlement Programme and is also the approving body for the organization’s biennial work programme and budget should devise such policies which incorporate the interests and priorities of developing and least developed countries, he added.

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