A group of stakeholder organizations in cooperation with UN Habitat have issued a vision statement for what they are calling a “new stakeholder compact” for implementing the New Urban Agenda (2016) in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals. On 30 May 2019, the stakeholders issued their declaration in a press conference at UN Habitat headquarters in Nairobi. The event took place in conjunction with the first UN Habitat Assembly convening under the new governance structure adopted by the UN General Assembly at the end of last year.
The full text of the declaration is here below:
“Toward a New Stakeholder Compact for the New Urban Agenda”
Declaration of the First Global Stakeholder Forum of the First UN Habitat Assembly
We, the participants at the first Global Stakeholders Forum held during 25 and 26 May 2019 on the eve of the first UN Habitat Assembly at Nairobi, recalling the historic and indispensable role of partners in sustainable human settlement development since 1976, hereby commit ourselves to innovative and more effective cooperation in delivering sustainable urbanization and development.
We draw on the voices of more than 200 diverse Forum participants, including women, indigenous peoples, youth, older persons, people with disabilities, grassroots organizations, civil society, national and subnational governments, trade unions and workers, professionals, researchers, academia, foundations, business, media, slum dwellers and faith-based communities, from different regions working on sustainable development areas and capabilities.
We enthusiastically applaud the Member States and UN-Habitat for their recognition of the need for strong stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda toward achieving the SDGs, Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and other global policies for sustainable urban development and environmental protection, and regional agreements such as African Agenda 2063 and Asian Vision 2035.
We commit to eradicating all forms of inequality and barriers to equitable governance and development in human settlements, as practiced especially against women, female-headed households, youth, children and other marginalized groups such as the poor, stigmatized ethnic groups, older persons and people with disabilities and workers in the informal economy.
We will work toward inclusive, prosperous, vibrant and sustainable human settlements, by improving the quality of lives, safety, livelihoods, affordability, and accessibility of all by realizing rights to land, property and other economic assets, secure tenure, adequate housing, transport, mobility, education, health, essential infrastructure and basic services, especially in conflict- and disaster-affected regions.
We, as an integral part of the State, recognize the State’s individual, collective, domestic and extra-territorial obligations to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights, in particular, the full and progressive realization of the human right to adequate housing and habitat-related human rights.
We will work constructively and collaboratively with Member States, UN-Habitat and other global, regional, specialized agencies and subnational governments to establish, operationalize and sustain stakeholder engagement to channel our diverse and many voices to the UN-Habitat Assembly and other UN-Habitat bodies.
We are guided by our universal values of equity, openness, equal partnerships, subsidiarity, gender equality, human rights, accountability and transparency, which should be reflected in the Stakeholder Engagement Policy being developed by UN Habitat and Member States.
We agree to engage in collaborative action among ourselves and partners, including with Member States bearing individual, collective, domestic and extra-territorial obligations and commitments to implement the New Urban Agenda, achieve the SDGs, and fulfill other global agreements related to habitat.
We endorse the co-creation of policies, programmes, frameworks, monitoring-and-evaluation efforts related to the global agreements.
We will be pro-active in seeking and imparting information, and using technology, innovative finance, and other opportunities to use established and new channels of participation.
We will enhance capacities and synergies between and among all stakeholder groups by sharing our deliberations equitably, transparently and effectively.
We will contribute evidence-informed and practical guidance for policy and implementation.
We envision the realization of cities for all, referring to the equal use of cities and human settlements seeking to promote inclusivity and ensure that all inhabitants of present and future generations without discrimination of any kind.
We envisage cities that are habitable, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient cities and human settlements that foster prosperity and quality of life for all. We note the efforts of some national and local governments to enshrine this vision, referred to as “the right to the city” in their legislation, political declarations, and charters.
We seek adequate support from Member States and other parties for meaningful stakeholder partnership within the UN Habitat governance and operational structures.
Our Steps Forward
We are organizing to reformulate stakeholder roles and responsibilities underpinned by innovative approaches, inclusive practices and reciprocity among all parties to resolve critical urban and rural human settlement planning, development and governance challenges.
We will build on successful, inclusive and diverse platforms, networks and movements at global, regional, national, and especially at the local level.
We will engage effectively in the programs, policies and outcomes of the UN Habitat Assembly and its bodies aligned with the UN Habitat Strategic Plan 2020–2025.
We welcome the new Stakeholder Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE) to advise the UN Habitat Executive Director on strengthening partnerships for sustainable urban development.
We will strengthen and further develop the Stakeholder Forum to implement the principles and commitments of this declaration leading up to WUF 2020.
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Photo on front page: HIC-HLRN Coordinator Joseph Schechla speaking at the press conference, introducing the Global Stakeholder Forum Declaration, on 30 May 2019. Panel, from L to R: George Wasonga, Civil Society Urban Development Platform (Kenya); M. Siraj Sait, University of East London; Christine Msisi, UN Habitat; Virginia Birch, University of Pennsylvania; Joseph Schechla, HIC-HLRN. Photo: George Muriama.