Second UN-Habitat Assembly kicks off in Nairobi

    President Ruto will open the conference at the United Nations Complex, Gigiri
    President Ruto will open the conference at the United Nations Complex, Gigiri

    The second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly kicks off this morning in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Universal access to affordable housing is one of the key agendas of the global high-level meeting that is held every four years.

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    President William Ruto whose administration has prioritised affordable housing will officially open the five-day conference at the United Nations Complex, Gigiri.

    The Kenyan government targets to construct at least 250, 000 houses each year, for the next five years, a project that could see over six million Kenyans living in informal settlements get decent and affordable houses.

    It is for this reason that President Ryto has been pushing for a 3pc housing levy that has been roundly criticized by Kenyans.

    Other thematic debates and discussions during the Assembly will focus on the following topics:

    Urban climate action: to achieve the global commitment to stay within 1.5˚C limit on rising temperatures by 2030, Member States are encouraged to explore realistic urban pathways for climate action.

    Urban crises recovery: current crises are increasingly more urban, with cities very often serving as the main places of arrival for displaced people. Member States are encouraged to empower cities to respond to urban crises and support national recovery efforts.

    Localization of the SDGs: the Assembly will look at local actions needed to advance the implementation of SDGs to meet the 2030 Development Agenda targets. Member States will also be invited to explore financial mechanisms to ensure resources are directed toward urban development and reach local levels.

    Prosperity and local finance: to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, respond to urban crises, advance urban climate action, and ensure adequate and affordable housing for all, cities need policies and fiscal resources. Member States are invited to explore policies and market mechanisms to ensure financial flows directed towards urban development and reach local levels.

    The conference brings together 193 UN Member States. Other participants include non-Member States, UN bodies and specialized agencies, as well as intergovernmental organizations, civil society, private sector, academia and research institutions, women, youth and children, and grassroots organizations.

    The theme of the session is “A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in times of global crises.”

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