The first UN-Habitat Assembly kicked off on Monday at the United Nations Office in Nairobi. The summit which brings together UN member States, agencies & non-State actors is themed “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.
Ms.Martha Delgado from Mexico was elected by the member states as the first female president of the assembly.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who officiated the opening ceremony, cited the Assembly’s theme as timely, and called for collective international action informed by scientific research and technological innovations to address the proliferation of slums and informal settlements, urbanization of poverty, and increased environmental degradation.
Uhuru also encouraged participants at the UN Assembly, to explore strategic ways of transforming cities and human settlements into engines of economic growth and development in a sustainable manner.
“Accelerating the implementation of the ‘New Urban Agenda’ is urgent and important,” He said.
According to UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms.Maimunah Mohd Sharif, 70% of people are projected to be living in urban areas of the world by 2050 and it’s therefore prudent for countries to plan adequately.
The UN Assembly will adopt global norms and policies that will guide how cities and communities are planned, managed and governed.