The years 2015 & 2016 have, and will witness two major events: the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Sustainable Urban Development Conference – Habitat III. Both are expected to shortly achieve positive impacts on the lives of people worldwide, especially on poor and vulnerable groups.
On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda titled ”Transforming our world”. 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted with a will that each government with its relevant partners and actors will be working on achieving the identified targets under each SDG.
Goal 11 of the SDGs states that cities and human settlements should become inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The 10 targets set under this goal imply exceptional efforts and collective work in order to be achieved by 2030. This involves amongst others, ensuring access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, sustainable transport systems, road safety, enhancing inclusive and sustainable urbanization, protecting cultural and natural heritage, etc.
The Habitat III conference that will be organized by the United Nations in October 2016 in Quito – Ecuador, will endorse the “New Urban Agenda” which should be implemented by all governments in the coming 20 years.
UN-Habitat, globally, and at the regional and country levels, will be aligning its strategies, programmes and action plans to become consistent with the targets of SDG 11 and with the recommendations of the New Urban Agenda.
In Lebanon, with the absence of a national urban policy and urban planning actors, the Country Programme will have to devote enormous efforts to lobby, promote, and implement programs and interventions that will contribute to achieving the targets of Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda.
The Country Programme Document that will be prepared shortly, and which will reflect the strategy and planning of UN-Habitat Lebanon for the coming 5 years, will clearly indicate the planned activities, the adopted approaches, and proposed strategies, and their link in achieving SDG 11 and the New Urban Agenda.