"These Governments and their representatives will be
setting out the framework for the future of our cities and towns."

NAIROBI, 23 May 2019 – From early this morning, a steady stream of delegates arrived at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), for the first ever UN-Habitat Assembly. Participants from all over the world queued up to get their Assembly badges, ahead of five exciting and busy days of deliberations regarding the future of our urbanizing world which starts on 27 May. The theme for this Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”.

This first UN-Habitat Assembly has a universal membership of all 193 Member States of the United Nations. More than 3000 participants, including senior representatives from over 40 Member States, as well as mayors from cities around the world will attend. Many delegates are attending as observers including Heads of United Nations agencies, local authorities, partners, business leaders, Non-Governmental Organizations, civil society, youth and women group representatives, and academics.

Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director said she was encouraged at the large number of participants which shows that the future of our cities and human settlements is a concern for all.

“This is a pivotal gathering of Member States,” she said. “These Governments and their representatives will be setting out the framework for the future of our cities and towns.”

Before the five-day UN-Habitat Assembly is officially opened this Monday 27 May, this weekend kicks off with some interactive events including a Global Stakeholders meeting and a Business Leaders Dialogue

“One of the best aspects of this Assembly is the wide range of knowledge and experience the participants bring to this forum,” said Ms Sharif. “I am really looking forward to the discussions with businesses, local governments and NGO's on how innovation in cities can provide solutions to achieving sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all.”

All through the Assembly, the Urban Solutions Exhibition will showcase leading innovative products and designs that address urban challenges. In addition, plenaries and side events will review major trends and international best practices related to human settlements and sustainable urbanization.