India has been unanimously elected as the president of the UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations to promote sustainable human settlements across the globe. UN-Habitat reports to the United Nations General Assembly. Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who is currently in Nairobi in Kenya, will chair the four-day meeting of the 58-member Governing Council (GC) of UN-Habitat there from today.
Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the GC of UN-Habitat for the next two years.
“Delighted to be elected as President of Governing Council of @UNHABITAT & chair #GC26. An opportunity to work towards a new urban future,” Naidu said in a tweet.
Since the UN-Habitat came into being in 1978, it is the third time that India has been elected to lead this organisation after 2007 and 1988.
As an inter-governmental policy and decision-making body, the GC seeks to promote comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries in addressing related problems and strengthen cooperation among them on the issue.
The theme of the 26th meeting of the GC is ‘Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda’.
The New Urban Agenda, which sets a global standard for sustainable urban development, was adopted at Quito, Ecuador last year.
Naidu will also chair the ‘Bureau Meeting of the Asia- Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development’ beginning in Nairobi today.
Naidu thanked the member countries for reposing faith in India and electing it as the president for the next two years, an official release said.
Addressing the GC of UN-Habitat, Naidu stressed on the need to reorient urban planning and execution strategies to ensure dignity of living and sufficient means of living for people in the context of rapid urbanisation, particularly, in developing countries.
He elaborated on the integrated, inclusive and sustainable urban development model of India through various missions like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
He said these missions are addressing deficits in different kinds of infrastructure, including affordable housing in a convergence mode.