In October 2016, the outcome document of the United Nations Habitat III conference, the new global strategy guiding development, housing security, and urbanization, was released. Known as the New Urban Agenda, UN Member States signed onto this new strategy with a request that the Secretary General of the United Nations provide an “evidence-based and independent assessment of UN-Habitat…containing recommendations to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of UN-Habitat.” On August 1, 2017, the Secretary General delivered an Advance Unedited Version of the Report of the High Level Independent Panel to Assess and Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat.
Habitat for Humanity has had a long-standing relationship with UN-Habitat, including an existing Agreement of Cooperation, regional and local Memos of Understanding, and the alignment about issues we care deeply about, including the growth of people living in slums and the approximately 1.6 billion people around the world lacking adequate housing.
As noted in the assessment report, a third of the global urban population is estimated to live in slums and informal settlements, often without access to proper housing, infrastructure or services. UN-Habitat was created to address these issues and thus this report and its recommendations will decidedly have impact on our global work together and how we will engage on housing and urban sustainability issues going forward.