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UNGA Second Committee Approves Resolution on Habitat III

12 December 2012: The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) has approved draft resolution A/C.2/67/L.59 on “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).” 

This text focuses on implementation of the UN Secretary-General's Habitat Agenda, and outlines details for the third UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III), in 2016. According to the draft, the UNGA would decide that the conference would include a focus on the theme “Sustainable urban development: the future of urbanization.”

By the resolution, the UNGA would appoint the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT as the Secretary-General of this conference, and set the following conference objectives: secure political commitment; assess accomplishments; and identify new and emerging challenges in sustainable urban development. Proposing a “New Urban Agenda” to be the result of Habitat III, the draft calls for an action-orientated outcome document.

The resolution also would establish a Preparatory Committee for the conference, open to all UN Member States and specialized agencies. The Preparatory Committee will meet three times, first for two days in New York, US, during the UNGA's 69th session, and then for three days in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015, during the 25th session of the Governing Council of UN-HABITAT. The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee will be determined no later than 2014, along with other organizational details for the conference.

A trust fund is established for the conference's organization, and donors are encouraged to support the fund with voluntary contributions. An orally-announced Program Budget Implementations document (PBI) estimates a total of US$1,063,000 necessary for the conference. During the meeting of the Second Committee, several States took issue with the PBI after adoption of the draft resolution, and stressed that the figures are only “estimates” made by the Secretariat and not agreed by the Committee.

Finally, the draft resolution encourages consideration of “sustainable urbanization” in the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda. [Draft Resolution A/C.2/67/L.59] [Oral Statement of the PBI] [UNGA Second Committee Resolutions]