Minsk, 25 March 2015 - National coordinators and experts from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Russia met in the Republic of Belarus, earlier this month to discuss preparations for the Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The participants discussed the draft national reports for Habitat III as well as the first regional conclusions, important steps on the road to the conference.

They highlighted that during the last two decades the cities of the region have seen a major transformation as countries moved from planned to market economies. The lessons learnt from this transformation could be an important contribution from the region to the global report, which is to be prepared for Habitat III.

The meeting was facilitated by the Methodology Centre in Minsk. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Belarus Deputy Minister for Architecture and Construction, Dmitry Semenkevich, said: “I am confident that [Habitat III] will be an important milestone towards achieving the aims of sustainable development in human settlements.

I hope that the Conference will serve as a platform for the exchange of experience, new ideas and approaches to the solution of cities’ problems and identify the priorities of the global urban development agenda in the long-term. The Republic of Belarus has started active preparation of its participation in Habitat III. Its National Coordinator has been appointed and work on its National Report is underway.”