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Briefing Note Of The Twenty-Third Session Of The Un-Habitat Governing Council

The 23rd session of the Governing Council (GC-23) of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) took place from Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 April 2011, at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of GC-23 was “sustainable urban development through expanding equitable access to land and housing, basic services and infrastructure.” 973 participants from 90 countries were in attendance, comprising 563 government representatives, as well as representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, professional associations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

During GC-23, delegates convened in a high-level segment and a Committee of the Whole to consider: the activities of UN-HABITAT; the special theme for GC-23; the work programme and budget of UN-HABITAT for the biennium 2012-2013; and the provisional agenda and other arrangements for GC-24. They also met in a drafting committee from Tuesday to Thursday to consider the 19 draft resolutions before GC-23. In addition, on Wednesday, delegates conducted a dialogue with local authorities and other partners, on the special theme of GC-23.

GC-23 concluded its work by adopting 18 out of the 19 resolutions before GC-23, with one of the resolutions having been withdrawn by the submitting country. The 18 adopted resolutions were on issues relating to: gender equality and empowerment of women in sustainable urban development; human settlements development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; support for pro-poor housing; access to quality urban public spaces; the World Urban Forum; the implementation of the Bamako Declaration and Action Plan and strengthening of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development; urban youth development; the third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development; strategies and frameworks for improving the lives of slum dwellers beyond the Millennium Development Goals target; future activities of UN-HABITAT in urban economy and financial mechanisms for urban upgrading, housing and basic services for the urban poor; UN-HABITAT’s work programme and budget for the biennium 2012-2013; implementation of the Guidelines on Access to Basic Services For All and the Guidelines on Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities; governance of UN-HABITAT; safer cities and urban crime prevention; country activities by UN-HABITAT; formulation of a global housing strategy; expanding equitable access to land, housing, basic services and infrastructure; and natural disaster risk reduction, preparedness, prevention and mitigation.

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