Preparation for the Habitat III Conference: Policy Dialogue with Local and Regional Governments
  • September 19, 2014

In preparation of the Habitat III conference which is the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that will take place in 2016, a preparatory process has been established with its first session and a number of side events that took place in New York from the 15 to 18 September.

The Preparatory Committee meeting (Prepcom I) was the first step towards the definition of a shared vision of the New Urban Agenda, an agenda which many expect to define the implementation mechanisms of the 2015 Summit Resolutions and Sustainable Development Goals.

Within the PrepcomI, the “Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 Development Agenda Towards Habitat III” and UCLG, with the support of the Spanish mission, organized the Policy Dialogue of Local and Regional Governments, involving representatives from UN missions, governments and agencies such as UN Habitat, UNCDF, Cities Alliance, UNDP and other urban partners.

In a debate around “Localizing the development agenda”, Christel Alvergne, Deputy Director of the Local Development Finance Practice (LDFP) presented how UNCDF’s contribution to the policy dialog between UCLG and its partners. UNCDF’s LDF practice supports local and regional authorities to access public and private resources, mainly focuses its efforts on secondary cities and peri-urban centers in least developed countries. Those centers have specific needs and require strong support from central government, including transparent and efficient intergovernmental fiscal transfer systems, to be able to deliver basic services to their populations. Ms. Alvergne presented achieved results using different sets of innovative financing tools and applying those to different thematic areas such as gender, climate change and food security. She also stressed the importance to support those secondary centers as they tend to be neglected on the international agenda and therefore, need strong advocacy, political and technical support to be recognized as central players in the on-going urbanization process. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Habitat III will be one of the first global conferences after the Post 2015 Development Agenda, bringing together diverse urban actors such as governments, local authorities , civil society, the private sector, academic institutions and all relevant interest groups to review urban and housing policies affecting the future of cities within an international governance architecture , with a view to generate a 'New Urban Agenda' for the 21st century which recognizes the ever - changing dynamics of human civilization.