Cairo, 15 May 2015 –The League of Arab States Ministerial Council for Housing and Construction Executive Bureau meeting has been held in the Egyptian capital. In attendance were the Ministers of Housing from Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine and Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi Deputy Minister of Housing, Ambassadors from Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to Egypt in addition to observers from the majority of Arab countries.

Acknowledging diverse socio-political and economic dynamics alongside the vast range of urbanization challenges in Arab countries, urbanization is considered a central element to sustainable development of the region. In December 2013, the 30th Council of Arab Ministers for Housing and Construction endorsed the preparation of an Arab Strategy for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development as part of the efforts made by the League of Arab States, to develop strategies and programs of actions to achieve sustainable development in the Arab States.

Arab Strategy for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development

The strategy represents an implementation methodology for localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Arab Region, in particular Goal 11 - Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable - by addressing the key challenges for housing and urbanization towards a New Urban Agenda for the Arab States.

It puts cities at the heart of the development agenda and places green, well-planned, resilient, inclusive, productive, safe, and healthy cities for all as a powerful driver for sustainability. The Strategy derives its relevance from countries assuming the obligation to commit to an action-oriented approach at regional level in addition to enhancing integration and cooperation among Arab states at regional level.

The Strategy proposes a set of goals and targets to develop a sustainable housing sector and achieve integrated, inclusive and sustainable urbanization at regional level, to be adapted and expanded to specific conditions at country level.

Arab Ministerial Forum for Housing and Urban Development

In 2012, the 29th Council of Arab Ministers for Housing and Construction confirmed the establishment of the Arab Ministerial Forum for Housing and Urban Development (AMFHUD).

UN-Habitat’s 24th Governing Council recognized the importance of the cooperation between the Council and the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States, through AMFHUD, for achieving the goals of sustainable urbanization in the Arab States and called for the support of all Arab countries.

AMFHUD represents the technical platform for reporting progress of the goals and targets set by the Arab Strategy for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. It takes place on bi-annual basis and its decisions and resolutions will be reported to the following sessions of the UN-Habitat Governing Council, the Arab Ministerial Council, the World Urban Forum and United Nations General Assembly in addition to Habitat III, the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development.