Nairobi, 31 March 2022—The Executive Board of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, held its first session of the year 2022 in a hybrid format from 29 to 31 March in Nairobi, Kenya.

Eight ministers, one vice-minister, 70 permanent representatives, 57 deputy permanent representatives, 223 government officials and 52 other partners. 96 Member States attended the session, including 36 members of the Executive Board. UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif provided an update on the work of the agency and its reform process.

“I hear Member States that the rate of urbanisation and the challenges associated with it are great. I thank Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Yamen, South Sudan, Brazil, Chile, Slovak Republic, Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia raising these issues,” said Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif at the closing of the Executive Board session. “UN-Habitat cannot be everywhere but with your support we can be in strategic locations to assist you with our expertise and normative guidance,” she said.

Some of the highlights of the discussions include the recognition by Member States of the importance of housing, cities action on climate change and localization of the Sustainable Development Goals as priority entry points for the next Strategic Plan of UN-Habitat. The Board was briefed on the Global Urban Monitoring Framework, which was recently endorsed by the United Nations Statistical Commission, as part of the harmonised global urban UN system-wide strategy and related regional, national and subnational urban programmes. The Executive Board requested the Executive Director, in line with the mandate of the programme to support the efforts of reconstruction of the human settlements in countries affected by conflict and disasters and including those leading to the displacement of people through a comprehensive whole of system response and to use all relevant tools at her disposal to engage with new countries affected by conflicts and disasters.

Members of the Executive Board deliberated on financial, budgetary and administrative matters of UN-Habitat. They reviewed UN-Habitat’s draft annual work programme and budget for 2023, as well as normative and operational activities of the agency. The Executive Board discussed preparations for the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to assess the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, to be held on 28 April 2022 in New York, and the upcoming eleventh session of the World Urban Forum in June 2022 in Katowice, Poland.

Brazil was elected the new chair of the Bureau for the term 2022-2023 and Kenya, Poland and Pakistan as vice chairs. France was elected for the position of rapporteur. During the session, the Board adopted four decisions namely:

  1. Decision 2022/[A]: Draft work programme and  budget of UN-Habitat  for 2023, and financial, budgetary and administrative matters of UN-Habitat
  2. Decision 2022/[B]: Implementation of the normative and operational activities of UN-Habitat  
  3. Decision 2022/[C]: Methods of work of the Executive Board and the workplan of the Executive Board for 2022
  4. Decision 2022/[D]: Election of officers of the Bureau of the Executive Board for the term 2022–2023

In her closing remarks, UN-Habitat Executive Director reiterated the call by the delegates to strengthen the organisation at its headquarters in Nairobi.

“I hear you loud and clear about the need to strengthen our core capacity and I am committed to ensuring that the use of different funding resources is aligned with the intergovernmental and normative functions of the programme. I look forward to working closely with Kenya to jointly raise resources for the Kenya country programme as well as our offices here. A strong UN-Habitat at Nairobi is the basis for a strong UN-Habitat in Africa and globally,” said Ms. Sharif.