UN-Habitat's New York liaison office maintains the agency's close working links with the United Nations headquarters. It represents UN-Habitat at inter-agency committees and inter-governmental meetings, while also coordinating strategies of outreach with different stakeholders.
The New York Office represents UN-Habitat at inter-governmental meetings, with particular regards to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The office monitors the developments of the United Nations General Assembly and engages with the Office of the President of the UNGA on behalf of the organization.
UN-Habitat NYO maintains relations with Member States and Permanent Representatives to the UN, providing guidance and information on UN-Habitat actions and responses. The office works closely with the Permanent Mission of Slovak Republic and Botswana with the creation of the Group of Friends of UN-Habitat, Sustainable Urbanization and the New Urban Agenda, who act as co-chairs, and that was created as an outcome of the High-Level Meeting to assess progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
The NYO also represents the organization at the 2nd committee, particularly during the process of negotiation for UN-Habitat resolutions, providing support in the drafting and revising process. Additionally it represents the organization at the 5th committee as well, in order to establish a Regular Budget for UN-Habitat to fulfill its mandate.
The New York office serves as the link between UN-Habitat Nairobi and government representatives, UN Secretariat departments and other offices, funds and programmes of the UN system.
At the interagency level the New York office represents UN-Habitat through UN system-wide coordination with various UN agencies, among which: UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) contributing to the review of UNSDG Core Group, the Development Coordination Office (DCO), the SDG strategy hub and Innovations Group to gain an overview of the innovation and collaboration that the UN agencies are engaged in, and the UN Economist Network (UNEN) providing support in the preparation of the UNEN report.
In terms of the Covid-19 response, NYO has worked collaboratively on the UN Task Team on Immediate Social and Economic Response to Covid-19, COVID-19 Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) on Small Island Developing States and served as the penholder to draft the Secretary-General’s statement on Covid-19 and cities.
The office promotes sustainable human settlements and urban development in North America, by maintaining a strong engagement with Academic Institutions, such as MIT, the University of Chicago, and the New School for Social Research, and also by maintaining solid collaborations with various cities and local governments, especially in ensuring support for the development of VLRs, and the localisation of SDGs.
It contributes to UN-Habitat partnerships, public information, and outreach efforts, ensuring that UN-Habitat voice and mandate are considered in these processes and platforms.
Another core task of UN-Habitat New York Office is to deliver policy advocacy strategies, developing proactive and advocacy-oriented approaches to partner’s engagement, in particular on the topics of: women empowerment and gender inclusiveness, homelessness (UNHNYO has chaired the meeting of the 3rd committee that has led to the resolution on homelessness and inclusive development in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic), residential security (including land tenure insecurity, gentrification, and refugees), and affordable housing.
The office also provides briefings on UN-Habitat and its work to different stakeholders and organizes special events and exhibitions at UNHQ, including the observance of World Habitat Day and World Cities Day, as part of Urban October, while also leading the agency’s participation at the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and other high level meetings held in New York City.