GA res. 32/162 (1977) established the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme and its Secretariat, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) (previously known as the UN Centre for Human Settlements). UN-HABITAT, which has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, is charged with coordinating human settlement activities within the UN system and facilitating the global exchange of information on shelter and sustainable urban development. It also assists countries with policy and technical advice in solving their human settlement problems.
Promote the development of socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements and the achievement of adequate shelter for all
Research and conduct monitoring to coordinate global efforts both within and outside the UN
Promote technical cooperation and provide technical support to national and local governments and other partners
Promote greater international cooperation in order to increase financing for human settlements.
Working mainly in developing countries and in countries recovering from conflict and disaster, UN-HABITAT helps governments create policies and strategies aimed at strengthening management capacity at both national and local levels. It focuses on promoting shelter for all including slum prevention and slum upgrading, improving urban governance, reducing urban poverty, improving the living environment, helping cities deal with clitnate change problem and threats, and managing disaster mitigation and post-conflict rehabilitation.
The Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The Conference adopted the Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration, through which governments committed themselves to the goals of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanising world.
The 25th special session of the General Assembly for an Overall Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda, known as Istanbul+5, was held in New York in 2001. The special session adopted the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium (res. S-25/2, annex, of 9 June 2001).
GA res. 56/206 (2001) transformed the Commission on Human Settlements and its Secretariat into the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme, to be known as UN-HABITAT, a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.
UN-HABITAT continues its predecessor's role as the focal point for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. It is guided in its work by the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium. GA res. 56/206 (2001) reaffirmed that the Governing Council's objectives, functions and responsibilities would remain as mandated by GA res. 32/162 (1977) and paragraph 222 of the Habitat Agenda.
Every two years, UN-HABITAT's work and relationships with its partners are examined in detail by the 58 Member States' Governing Council. This is a ministerial-level forum at which the organisation's policy guidelines and budget are established for the next two-year period. The Council approves UN-HABITAT's work programme (the medium-term plan and the two-year work programme) and the budget. It also provides overall policy guidance, direction and supervision to UN-HABITAT.
The Governing Council reports to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which coordinates the work of the General Assembly's subsidiary bodies. A Committee of Permanent Representatives to UN-HABITAT serves as the Governing Council's inter-sessional subsidiary body.
The programme's resources come from the UN regular budget, and voluntary contributions from governments and the private sector. The budget approved by the Governing Council was $357 million for 2010-11 and $393 million for 2012-13.
The Governing Council's 58 members are each elected by ECOSOC for four-year terms, expiring on 31 December. The Council is made up of 16 members from African states, 13 from Asian states, six from Eastern European states, 10 from Latin American and Caribbean states, and 13 from Western European and Other states
The following officers were elected to the Governing Council Bureau during the 23rd Governing Council in 2011:
Vincent Karega, Rwanda
Guangyuan Liu, China
Konrad Paulsen, Chile
Heli Sirve, finland
African states Algeria Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Congo Cote d'Ivoire DR Congo Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libyan AJ Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Togo Tunisia Uganda UR of Tanzania Zambia Zimbabwe
Asian states Afghanistan Bahrain Bangladesh China Cyprus India Indonesia Iran Iraq Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Lebanon Malaysia Nepal Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines ROK Saudi Arabia Sri Lanka Syrian AR UAE Viet Nam
Eastern European states Albania Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Hungary Lithuania Poland Republic of Moldova Romania Russian Federation Serbia Slovakia The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Ukraine
Latin American and Caribbean states Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas Barbados Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela
Western European and Other states Australia Austria Belgium Canada Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Israel Italy Netherlands New Zealand Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Turkey UK USA
The Governing Council meets once every two years. The 23rd session was held from 11 to 15 April2011 in Nairobi, Kenya.
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