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The Global Stakeholder Forum meeting before the UN-Habitat Assembly adopts a new stakeholder contract to more fully support UN-Habitat
NAIROBI, 25 – 26 May 2019 – Over 200 stakeholders drawn from all regions converged at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi, Kenya for the first biennial global stakeholder forum. The two-day forum which attracted representatives of all partner groups was jointly organized by UN-Habitat and its stakeholders. The pre-assembly forum took place the weekend before the first session of the United Nations UN-Habitat Assembly.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Victor Kisob, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, stated that partnerships were crucial to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda in cities and communities, with national, subnational and local governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders working together at all levels.
UN-Habitat announced key developments in its efforts to reposition itself for better delivery of its mandate and focal point role on issues related to urbanization and human settlements development within the United Nations system. With the adoption of a new governance structure and the finalization of its strategic planning process, the Agency is committed to involving all stakeholders in order to achieve the shared vision of a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world, deepen its impact and upscale programmes.
The Executive Director of UN-Habitat Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, told participants that she was ready to listen to their advice through the newly established Stakeholder Advisory Group. Stakeholders said they would like the Global Stakeholder Forum to be a regular feature of the UN-Habitat Assembly. The Global Stakeholder Forum was the most inclusive ever, as noted by Prof. Eugenie Birch, Co-Director, Penn Institute for Urban Research
UN-Habitat informed stakeholders of ongoing processes that sought to strengthen the Agency’s engagement with all stakeholders. The development of the stakeholder engagement policy, and the stakeholder collaborative framework for implementation of the New Urban Agenda were presented as strategic steps towards aligning contributions of stakeholders with the new strategic plan for the period 2020 to 2025.
Stakeholders shared innovative mechanisms for promoting better quality of life and suggested how to better collaborate in the implementation of the agreed themes and coordination frameworks and mechanisms. They emphasized a need for enhanced advocacy, inclusivity and giving voice to all stakeholders.
The 16-member high level stakeholder Advisory Group of experts and leaders co-chaired by Ms. Dyan Currie, President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and Professor Siraj Sait, Director of Centre for Islamic Finance, Law, and Communities from the University of East London; and the Co-Secretaries are Ms. Shamoy Hajare, Founder and CEO of the Jamaica School for Social Entrepreneurship and Mr. George Wasonga, the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Society Urban Development Platform.
The key outcomes of the Forum are a stakeholders’ declaration to be presented to the UN-Habitat Assembly, and a proposal and roadmap towards development of a stakeholder engagement institutional mechanism to be developed by the next Session of World Urban Forum.