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UNGA Decides to Convene Habitat III in 2016

22 December 2011: On the recommendation of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the UN General Assembly (UNGA) decided to convene a third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III) in 2016. The conference will have a focus on reinvigorating the "global commitment to sustainable cities." Before the end of 2012, the UNGA will consider the scope, modalities, format and organization of the conference.

The conference will follow previous UN conferences on human settlements – Habitat I, held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976, and which led to the creation of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT); and Habitat II, held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996.

According to the UNGA resolution, titled “Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)” (A/RES/66/207), the UN Secretary-General is invited to appoint the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT to serve as Secretary-General of Habitat III.

The UNGA resolution notes its previous resolution A/65/165 and reports of the UN Secretary-General on implementing the outcome of Habitat II and on a third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development. The 22nd Session of UN-HABITAT's Governing Council, held in April 2009, had adopted a resolution recommending that it consider convening Habitat III.

Finances and budgetary considerations of Habitat III are addressed in an oral statement made by the UN Secretariat upon the Second Committee's approval of the draft, which took place on 6 December 2011.

Upon the UNGA's adoption of the decision, Turkey reiterated its commitment to hosting the Conference in Istanbul. [UNGA Resolution on Convening Habitat III] [Oral Statement from Secretariat] [UN-HABITAT 2009 Resolution on Convening Habitat III][IISD RS coverage of Habitat-related meetings] [Letter from Government of Turkey, 8 December 2011]