If you keep up with our social media channels, you've seen us post quite a bit around the ninth World Urban Forum — or WUF9, which took place February 7-13 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here’s a rundown on how it went and what we’ll be looking towards next.
Over 22,000 participants from 165 countries gathered for WUF9: “Cities 2030, Cities for All.” Habitat for Humanity had a strong presence at the conference, with a delegation of 30 staff from around the world. We convened and spoke at over 40 event, covering a range of topics including sustainable housing, youth empowerment, and access to land, housing microfinance, and much more.
WUF9 was an opportunity for the global community to share progress, and hold leaders accountable to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. At Habitat III, in October 2016, Habitat for Humanity made a number of commitments to implement the New Urban Agenda, with the overarching goal of increasing access to decent shelter for over 200 million people by 2036. Habitat has already made ambitious strides towards meeting each of our commitments, and we were proud to showcase this progress at WUF9. We hosted a side event titled, “Habitat for Humanity’s Commitment to Implement the New Urban Agenda: A Progress Report.” Tamzin Hudson, Sr. Advocacy Specialist, presented on Habitat’s commitment to increase access to land for shelter for 10 million people through the Solid Ground campaign, by advocating for, and changing policies and systems around, land rights.
Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign also co-convened a training event with the Urban CSO Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) on “How to Leverage Multi-Sector Tools and Partnerships to Increase Security of Tenure Globally”. The event built on previous regional learning exchanges, bringing the key learnings and outcomes to a global audience and context. More than 40 multi-sector delegates participated in the three-hour event, gaining a broader understanding of the continuum of land rights and learning new strategies for cross-sector engagement towards improved tenure security for urban communities.
Habitat for Humanity had an inviting booth in the exhibition hall, where hundreds of WUF9 attendees stopped by each day to learn about our global work. In the afternoons, the National Directors from five countries implementing Solid Ground - Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, India, and Lesotho - hosted “Country Coffee Chats” at the booth to share more detailed information about their programming and advocacy efforts.
We are grateful to all of you who joined us in calling on the United Nations and national governments, through our petition and social media, to address housing needs and land rights by implementing the New Urban Agenda. Even though WUF9 has concluded, you can still get involved and help ensure the New Urban Agenda is implemented fully!
Looking forward to July 2018, SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities will be reviewed at the UN high-level political forum on sustainable development. In advance of the forum, ask your national governments and officials what they are doing to meet SDG 11, which is supported by the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and find out if they will be conducting a voluntary national review for SDG 11. Find out how you can partner, and ask that they enable stakeholder participation and collect and promote open, accessible and disaggregated data.