Category

Funds and Programmes

HQ location

Nairobi

Date established

2002

Resolution

A/56/206 of 1 January 2002

Leadership

Executive Director

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.

UN-HABITAT has four main objectives to:

  • 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:

 

President
Vincent Karega, Rwanda
 
Vice-Presidents
Guangyuan Liu, China
Konrad Paulsen, Chile
Sergey Trepelkov,
Russian Federation
 
Rapporteur
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.

PO Box 30030
Nairobi 00100
Kenya
Telephone: (+254 220) 762 1236
Fax: (+254 20) 762 4266/4267
Eamil: infohabitat@unhabitat.org

New York Office
2 United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-0943
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Telephone: (+1 212) 963 4200
Fax: (+1 212) 963 8721
Email: habitatny@un.org