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Ahead of the UN-Habitat Assembly, Nairobi based African diplomats hold a retreat
Nairobi, 22 May 2019 – UN-Habitat last week organised a half day retreat for African diplomats based in Nairobi to sensitise them on various issues and follow up activities ahead of the forthcoming UN-Habitat Assembly.
The meeting was also a forerunner to the meeting of African ministers for urban development. The event was attended by 10 permanent representatives to UN-Habitat as well as staff from the African Diplomatic Corps technical committee and the agency’s staff.
The retreat was co-chaired by the Dean of the Africa Diplomatic Corps, Mr. Beyene Russom, and the Director of the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa, Mr. Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza who gave a brief introduction and overview on the objectives of the meeting followed by a presentation by Mr. Russom delivered. Mr Mutizwa-Mangiza during his presentation on the First Session of the UN-Habitat Assembly gave a preamble on the global and regional urbanization trends, UN-Habitat’s mandate and roles in ensuring and promoting a sustainable model for urbanization and the peculiarities of the African regions urbanization.
He further outlined the proposed structure for the UN-Habitat Assembly and highlighted the prospective issues to be addressed during the Assembly, stressing on the need and advantages of coherence amongst member states. Ms Jane Nyakairu and Mr Claude Ngomsi both of UN-Habitat also made presentations on the Partnership and Pledging Conference during the UN-Habitat Assembly and the Harmonized Regional Framework for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Africa respectively.
During the vibrant interactive sessions, member states thanked UN-Habitat for organizing the retreat and reiterated the need for similar periodic briefing sessions by Regional Office for Africa and other relevant branches.
Recalling UN-Habitat’s strategic role in achieving Sustainable Development in the region, member states suggested stronger country presence for more impact, and requested UN-Habitat to align country programmes to the specific country priorities, while stressing the need for New Urban Agenda be linked to other SDGs and encouraged projects people centered and gender sensitive developments.
Mr. Russom advocated the need to focus on the urban-rural linkages in Africa and reaffirmed the ADC’s support in ensuring a successful UN-Habitat Assembly. The representative of the ADC Technical Committee gave brief on the Africa region’s proposed resolutions on interconnectivity, risk reduction, safer cities and urban-rural linkages. The meeting concluded with Mr. Mutizwa-Mangiza committing to regular briefings to the ADC, even after the Assembly.