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World Leaders Gather with Youth to Promote Peace



Over 500 delegates from more than 70 countries are attending the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver being held November 14th and 15th in Vancouver, Canada. One of the key focuses of the conference will be on securing new pledges from Member States on the issues of peacebuilding, with a special focus being given to youth and women.

A two day Youth as Peacebuilders forum is being held during the conference which will bring hundreds of youth from around the world. A focus of the Forum will be giving input to the government representatives on how they should support youth. Also, the youth will be reviewing the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2250, the first ever resolution to address youth issues in conflict.

“As UN-Habitat we believe that young men and women are critical to peacebuilding, and are very excited to see this as a focus of the conference,” states Tessy Aura, UN-Habitat Human Rights Officer, “I am looking forward to discussing what are the best practices in engaging youth in peacebuilding with the youth gathered here at the Youth As Peacebuilders forum.”

A two day Youth as Peacebuilders forum is being held during the conference which will bring hundreds of youth from around the world. A focus of the Forum will be giving input to the government representatives on how they should support youth. Also, the youth will be reviewing the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2250, the first ever resolution to address youth issues in conflict.

The youth of today are yearning for peace and are ready to sacrifice everything else to realize the dream of a better future. This an opportune moment for the UN to invest in youth4peace that can have greater impact in Somalia.

Mohammed Arshad, Youth Activist, Mogadishu, Somalia.

It is estimated that a 600 million young people are living in conflict zones or fragile states, many of them in the cities and towns of the world. UN-Habitat, which is the UN agencies charged with sustainable urban development, is at the forefront of developing programmes for youth and peacebuilding in conflict areas such as Somalia, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria.

“We are currently working with local and national governments in Somalia and South Sudan to establishment youth-led peacebuilding programmes,” states Douglas Ragan, head of the Youth Unit for UN-Habitat, “For example, we recently established a mutli-purpose youth centre in Mogadishu, Somalia and soon in Juba, South Sudan. These centres work with youth in a holistic way, providing them with critical job training, while as well engaging them in governance and peacebuilding activities.”


Since the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 in December of 2015, youth have had high hopes for their recognition and engagement in the peacebuilding process.

The need to understand the dynamics of peace within the urban context has also become a critical issue for decision-makers globally. The International Red Cross estimates that fifty million people are currently bearing the brunt of war in cities around the world.

Peace can also be made in cities – those on the frontline are young people who often live in slums and informal settlements. Isaac Muasa who lives in the Mathare Slum in Nairobi, Kenya is one of those youth. In the ongoing election tensions in Kenya, he and many of his contemporaries continue to promote a strong message of peace.

“We must continue to engage in developing our communities, ensuring social change and dignity for all residents, states Muasa, “We don’t have to bleed so that they can lead. We will lead our generation to a better tomorrow.”

In another confict area, Mogadishu, Somalia, that same message and commitment is prevalent.

“Somalia has had a long protracted conflict of about three decades. Since the start of the civil war in 1991, the international community has made a number of efforts to broker peace negotiations among warring factions that had limited success,” reflects Mohamed Arshad, Youth Activist, “The youth of today are yearning for peace and are ready to sacrifice everything else to realize the dream of a better future. This an opportune moment for the UN to invest in youth4peace that can have greater impact in Somalia.”




Unlocking the Potential of Youth and Local Government: Recap story on Innovate Counties Project launched in three counties in Kenya

“The frustration generated in young people that have no hope in the future is a major source of insecurity in today’s world … it is essential that when Governments plan their economic activities, when the international community develops forms of cooperation, it is essential to put youth employment, youth skills [at] the centre of all priorities, [at] the centre of all projects.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Three parallel dynamics – the youth bulge, ICT explosion and the devolution process – are set to change towns and cities in Kenya. The growing number of young urban citizens, coupled with increase in hand held devices is introducing new challenges and opportunities for both local governments and youth that have not been adequately addressed.

Un-Habitat has been addressing these converging trends through the development of a conceptual framework on improving local governance for youth using ICTs, articulated in its ‘ICT, Urban Governance and Youth’ paper. This framework has been developed through normative and programmatic work done in East Africa, and more specifically Kenya, which is home to a wide range of actors advancing different innovations, programs and ideas that encourage the use of ICT to enhance governance by and for youth.

However, current efforts appear to have been limited by a lack of coordination necessary to translate them into structured, result-oriented and scalable action. Thus UN-Habitat through the Youth Unit has delved into implementation of a bridge building project dubbed Innovate Counties Challenge Project that seeks to include local government partnerships  in enabling governance technology applications have tangible impact at the community level.

The Innovate Counties Challenge Project is being funded by the Making All voices Count (MAVC) programme which is a fund supported by four donors: DFID, USAID, Sida, and the Omidyar Network (ON) that provides grants to support innovation and technology that has the potential to support better governance. It is currently in implementation in Kisumu and Mombasa Counties. In Kisumu, UN-Habitat is collaborating with LakeHub, a technology and social innovation hub based in Kisumu, Kenya with the aim of decentralizing access to technology, growing entrepreneurship and social innovation. Whereas in Mombasa, UN-Habitat is collaborating with SwahiliBox, a technology open space in Mombasa, Kenya which focuses on socio-economic technology empowerment, inspiring and developing individuals and help them develop new and innovative ideas through networking, access to training and support and professional mentoring and coaching.

The project is to be executed in three phases: Problem identification, problem solution and development; and solution testing and institutionalizing. The project is currently in the first phase of problem identification. In this phase UN-Habitat sought the participation and contribution from a cross cutting representation of pertinent persons from academia, civil society, youth groups, private sector, media and the core partners of the project, the county representatives particularly in the Youth and ICT departments.

UN-Habitat brought these people together in a one day intense participatory workshop dubbed, the Challenge Workshop, to elucidate the specific governance challenges facing the counties. The challenge workshop was held on 8th February in Kisumu while it was held on 9th March in Mombasa where the project was formally introduced by UN-Habitat Chief of Youth and Livelihoods Unit, Douglas Ragan in Kisumu and Paul Wambua in Mombasa. The workshop formally opened by county representatives. Hon. Michael Onyango, Minister of Communications, Information and Technology and Hon. Jennipher Kere, Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Social Services represented Kisumu County, whereas Nyevu Karisa, an officer from Department of Trade, Energy and Industrial Development represented Mombasa County.

Participants were then given a technical situational analysis and overview of governance challenges affecting the specific county to focus their thinking. In Kisumu this synopsis was given by Joshua Nyamori, a community participation and communication expert while in Mombasa, this was given by Masoud Ali of Camara Kenya. After which participants were grouped for a breakout brainstorming session to identify all the governance related challenges affecting the specific counties. After lunch, they regrouped and clustered the challenges in a plenary for purposes of establishing the overall challenge statements.

In Kisumu, workshop participants ranged from the county government, academia such as Maseno University, religious establishments, media such as Kenya Weekly, youth groups such as ICY Africa, private sector such KCB, technology organizations such as Sisi Hub, civil society such as Transparency International and other various organizations representing environment, energy, law, health, research and innovation, music and the arts, construction, law and advocacy, etc. In Mombasa, representation ranged from the county government, academia such as KEMU, technology organizations such as Coin Hub, youth groups such as Badilisha Youth Group, the private sector and NGOs.

In Mombasa County, the challenges were in the areas of transparency and accountability (specifically of county funds), transport issues of analog parking systems and poor infrastructure, poor service delivery (poor garbage collection), expensive internet, high unemployment among youth leading to social vices such as drug abuse (also highlighted in Kisumu County), etc. In Kisumu County, challenges ranged from insecurity, an unexploited 24 hour economy, lack of local investment, capacity building not market-driven and lack of reinforcement of policies on protection of natural resources, etc.

Both Challenge Workshops were successful in establishing the governance challenges ailing Kisumu and Mombasa Counties thanks to the active and passionate input of participants. These challenge statements will be used in the problem solution and development phase that will take place in April. In our next blog we introduce our third county and share outputs from the problem solution phase.

Prepared by:

Rhoda Omenya| Youth and Livelihoods Unit at UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat: Innovate Counties Challenge promotes peace and sustainable human development

Peace and Governance

Good governance is a path to peace.  Good governance is about the processes for making and implementing decisions. Not about making ‘correct’ decisions, but about the best possible process for making those decisions.

Poor governance on the flip side, offers greater incentives and more opportunities for corruption—the abuse of public office for private gains. Corruption undermines the public’s trust in its government. It also threatens market integrity, distorts competition, and endangers economic development.  The citizen is disenfranchised as their voices are unheard and their needs unmet making them prone to resorting to conflict as a measure or expressing their dissatisfaction with the status and as a means for advocating for change.

Three parallel dynamics—the “youth bulge”, the ICT dynamics and the devolution process—are setting the stage for promoting good governance in towns and cities of Kenya. The growing number of young urban citizens, coupled with the explosion of hand-held devices is introducing new challenges and opportunities for both local governments and youth that have not been adequately addressed. It appears that the scope of concerns crosses into new and uncharted territory as governance itself is transformed by fast-moving changes of ICT in the hands of the youth. UN-Habitat started to address these converging trends through the development of a conceptual framework on improving local governance for youth using ICTs articulated in its “ICT, Youth & Urban Governance” paper.

Further, UN-Habitat implemented a project dubbed the ‘Innovate Counties Challenge Project’ seeking to build capacity of local government in small and medium sized cities around the use of ICT as a tool for good governance, planning and youth engagement, ultimately institutionalizing innovative solutions to enhance citizen engagement in line with UN-Habitat’s priorities according to the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

This project promoted the fundamentals of good governance:

County governments are bound to deliver services and tangible outcomes for their main constituency, the majority of which in Kenya are youth. County governments are key players in Kenya’s relatively new devolution framework and can use ICT as a tool to improve urban public service delivery, operational efficiency and planning and design.


Local government has an obligation to report, explain and be answerable for the consequences of decisions it has made on behalf of the community it represents. Thus local governments can have better reporting by using ICT tools developed by youth.


Citizens should be able to follow and understand the decision-making process. This means that they will be able to clearly see how and why a decision was made – what information, advice and consultation considered, and which legislative requirements (when relevant) were followed. Most of the time this is not the case as most decision-making channels are made via traditional media and require physical presence. ICT tools can promote more participation digitally.


Local governments should always try to serve the needs of the entire community while balancing competing interests in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner. ICT tools can be used to capture citizen needs more comprehensively.

Equity and inclusivity

A community’s well being results from all of its members feeling local governments have considered their interests in the decision-making process. This means that all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, should have opportunities to participate in the process. This is the core of the project. The youth, an often-marginalized group in decision-making, are the drivers of this project with their views sought and their niche is ICT harnessed to develop digital tools to solve governance challenges.


Local government should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for their community. Employing ICT tools in governance processes enhances efficiency.


Anyone affected by or interested in a decision should have the opportunity to participate in the process for making that decision. This can happen in several ways – community members may be provided with information, asked for their opinion, given the opportunity to make recommendations or, in some cases, be part of the actual decision-making process. This is the backbone of the Innovate Counties Challenge. Incorporating views from pertinent representatives such as academia, media, civil society, private sector, local governments, youth groups, etc.

And in this week, we showcase how the Innovate Counties Challenge Project has provided a framework to foster good governance thereby promoting peace and consequently, sustainable human development.

Rhoda Omenya| Youth and Livelihoods Unit, UN-Habitat

High Level Panel on the New Urban Agenda and UN-HABITAT

Eight people, who directly decided the Secretary General, António Guterres , presented the UN-Habitat Evaluation Report, which diagnoses and issues recommendations to provide the agency with the necessary tools and capacities to Effectively address the new challenges and commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NAU). The Panel came to the consensus that UN-HABITAT has key areas of opportunity and its role is more important than ever.
With information from UN-Habitat

Urban challenges are substantial, growing and global sustainable development will be increasingly linked to what is happening in cities. Given the need to reconcile this inevitable reality within Agenda 2030, it is necessary to have an urban leader .

In this way, the Panel was urged to make bold recommendations to improve UN-HABITAT’s effectiveness, efficiency and accountability, ensuring that the Agency is prepared to address the requirements of inclusive and sustainable urban development, Which implies greater transparency, responsiveness to a rapidly changing global and urban landscape, and flexibility to seize opportunities as they arise.

To this end, the Panel responsible for this report was established to conduct an independent, objective and evidence-based review and evaluation to make recommendations for improving effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of the agency in four areas Operational mandates, governance structure, partnerships and financial capacity.


The role of UN-HABITAT

2) Recognizing that UN-HABITAT plays a key role in addressing sustainable urbanization but faces challenges that compromise its ability to respond effectively, the Panel recommends that the first priority be to rapidly stabilize and strengthen UN-HABITAT.

(3) Considers that UN-HABITAT is the appropriate entity of the United Nations to play a promotional role around the importance of urban issues. In this way, it would assist and support Member States, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders in integrating the New Urban Agenda and urban aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals into their development operations, providing guidance And tools to strengthen urban work at the national level.

4) In complementing the role of UN-Habitat, the Panel proposes that UN-Urban be established as a coordination mechanism similar to UN-Water or UN-Energy as part of the United Nations system-wide reform, With a small secretariat based in New York.

The mandate of UN-HABITAT

(5) The Panel recommends that with ODS and NAU as guiding frameworks, UN-HABITAT’s normative role is to “leave no one behind”, a policy widely supported by human rights frameworks backed by the United Nations system . This implies promotion and supervision with Member States to ensure that urban work reflects this guide as well as guidance on the best means to achieve this goal.

(6) Further recommends that all operational work be clearly linked to policy priorities and a closer link to global strategic policy and governance oversight.

(7) The Group recommends two priority areas in this regard: attention to equity, vulnerability and exclusion in urban development and a focus on urban planning, legislation and standards that best support the equitable development priorities together With environmental sustainability and economic soundness.

😎 In particular, it is recommended that UN-Habitat provide guidance on informality as the engine of exclusion.

9) Clear project documentation is recommended to demonstrate the complementarity of normative / operational work and the interpretation of the normative / operational distinction in each project.

10) In the urban definition, the Panel calls for a conceptual change towards a more territorial approach, focusing on the metropolitan regions, including the cities, towns, outlying areas and villages they contain, and avoiding excessive simplification of the rural-urban dichotomy.

(11) The Group recommends that UN-HABITAT, in its data support role, pay particular attention to gaps in the collection and analysis of data obscuring the realities of excluded groups.


(12) The Group agrees that the current governance model suffers from systemic problems affecting accountability, efficiency and effectiveness and recommends some key changes, focusing on the need for participation of all Member States and capacity for Reflect the complexity of the urban development landscape with its multiple actors.

13) Recommends a new governance structure that includes the universal membership of the 193 Member States in a General Urban Assembly and the addition of a small Policy Board focused on providing strategic and policy advice as well as project oversight. The Policy Board would integrate input from the CPR, the Secretariat and the Executive Director, but also a committee of local and subnational authorities and a committee of urban stakeholders, both with capacity to assess and revise resolutions and provide coordinated guidance to the Policy Council . UN-Urban would also advise this Board.

(14) The Group recommends that the Urban Assembly organize its calendar and the location of its meetings to maximize the potential for overlap with both the United Nations Environment Assembly and the General Assembly.

15) UN-HABITAT should also have a greater staff presence in New York, especially high-level staff to improve coordination and closer relations with United Nations entities in New York.

16) UN-Habitat should have more staff in Nairobi, New York and regional offices, with gender parity to fulfill its mission and mandate to support Member States, subnational governments and United Nations country teams.


17) In order to have active, effective and inclusive partnerships that can contribute to the fulfillment of its inclusion mandate, the Panel recommends that UN-HABITAT explore and strengthen relations with representative organizations of local governments and civil society, as well as Strengthening partnerships with the United Nations and the Regional Economic Commissions.

18) Also urges UN-HABITAT to explore ways to encourage private sector actors to examine the unwanted negative impacts of their investments and to find ways to mitigate them.

19) Finally, it recommends institutionalizing the World Urban Forum (WUF) to help keep NAU firmly on the global agenda. It proposes that the results of the WUF be integrated into the UN-Habitat strategic plan and program of work and budget. This should be done through a report on the results of the Policy Board for its integration into the resolutions of the Urban Assembly.

Financial capability

20) The Group recommends that an urgent appeal be made to Member States to support UN-HABITAT with committed funds for several years. In addition, it recommends that UN-Habitat develop a medium-term plan and expenditure framework for four to five years.

21) In order to encourage voluntary contributions from Member States, the Group recommends that UN-HABITAT specify the percentage of core funds spent on staff and other administrative costs.

(22) In order to reinforce the priority assigned to normative work, the Panel recommends that part of the financing of specific technical cooperation be earmarked for linkage with the normative mission and firmly proposes a limit to the funds allocated from Member States Which are intended for operational work.

(23) The Group recommends that UN-HABITAT explore the benefits of grant modality, giving the organization more management flexibility and responsiveness, while allowing it to remain a part of the United Nations Secretariat.

24) In order to explore new and innovative sources of funding and increase available resources for inclusive and sustainable urbanization, the Group recommends that UN-HABITAT develop a strategy of cooperation with multilateral banks, financial institutions and private sources of funding. The potential for funding and fundraising inherent in local urban relations could also be explored.

25) Finally, the Panel recommends the creation of a Global Trust Fund to serve as a platform for alternative funding for sustainable urbanization efforts.

In order to maintain momentum for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and reflect on the position of UN-HABITAT in this regard, the President of the UN General Assembly convened a High-level Meeting of the General Assembly On 5 and 6 September 2017 to discuss, inter alia, the Independent Panel Report of the Secretary-General to assess and improve the effectiveness of UN-HABITA



Panel de Alto Nivel sobre la Nueva Agenda Urbana y ONU-Habitat

El Panel de Alto Nivel, conformado por ocho personas que decidió de manera directa el Secretario General, António Guterres, presentó el Informe de Evaluación de ONU-Habitat, el cual diagnostica y emite recomendaciones para dotar a la agencia de las herramientas y capacidades necesarias para enfrentar con efectividad los nuevos retos y compromisos asumidos en el marco de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible y la Nueva Agenda Urbana (NAU). El Panel llegó al consenso de que ONU-Habitat tiene áreas clave de oportunidad y su papel es más

Los desafíos urbanos son sustanciales, crecientes y el desarrollo sostenible mundial estará cada vez más ligado a lo que ocurre en las ciudades. Dada la necesidad de conciliar esta realidad inevitable dentro de la Agenda 2030 es necesario contar con un líder urbano.

De esta forma es que se instó al Panel a que hiciera audaces recomendaciones para mejorar la eficacia, la eficiencia y la rendición de cuentas de ONU-Habitat, asegurándose de que la Agencia esté preparada para abordar los requerimientos del desarrollo urbano incluyente y sostenible, lo que implica mayor transparencia, capacidad de respuesta ante un panorama mundial y urbano rápidamente cambiante y flexibilidad para aprovechar las oportunidades a medida que surgen.

Para ello, el Panel encargado de este informe fue establecido para llevar a cabo una revisión y evaluación independiente, objetiva y basada en pruebas para formular recomendaciones para mejorar la eficacia, la eficiencia, la rendición de cuentas y la supervisión de la agencia en cuatro esferas específicas: Mandatos operacionales, estructura de gobierno, asociaciones y capacidad financiera.


El papel de ONU-Habitat

2) Reconociendo que ONU-Habitat desempeña un papel fundamental en el tratamiento de la urbanización sostenible, pero enfrenta desafíos que comprometen su capacidad para responder eficazmente, el Panel recomienda que la primera prioridad sea estabilizar y fortalecer rápidamente a ONU-Habitat.

3) Considera que ONU-Habitat es la entidad apropiada de las Naciones Unidas para desempeñar un papel de promoción en torno a la importancia de las cuestiones urbanas. De esta forma, ayudaría y apoyaría a los Estados Miembros, a los organismos de las Naciones Unidas y a otras partes interesadas a integrar la Nueva Agenda Urbana y los aspectos urbanos de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) en sus operaciones de desarrollo, proporcionando orientación y herramientas para fortalecer el trabajo urbano a nivel nacional.

4) Para complementar el papel de ONU-Habitat, el Panel propone que se establezca ONU-Urban, como un mecanismo de coordinación similar a UN-Water o UN-Energy, como parte de la reforma a nivel de sistema de las Naciones Unidas, con una pequeña secretaría basada en New York.

El mandato de ONU-Habitat

5) El Panel recomienda que con los ODS y la NAU como marcos rectores, el papel normativo de ONU-Habitat sea “no dejar a nadie atrás”, una directiva ampliamente apoyada por los marcos de derechos humanos respaldados por el sistema de las Naciones Unidas. Esto implica la promoción y supervisión con los Estados Miembros para asegurar que el trabajo urbano refleje esta guía, así como una orientación sobre los mejores medios para lograr este objetivo.

6) Recomienda además que todo el trabajo operacional tenga un vínculo claro con las prioridades normativas y una conexión más estrecha con la política estratégica global y la supervisión de la gobernanza.

7) El Grupo recomienda dos esferas prioritarias a este respecto: la atención a la equidad, la vulnerabilidad y la exclusión en el desarrollo urbano y un enfoque en la planificación urbana, la legislación y las normas que mejor apoyen las prioridades equitativas de desarrollo, junto con la sostenibilidad ambiental y la solidez económica.

8) En particular, se recomienda que ONU-Habitat brinde orientación sobre la informalidad como motor de la exclusión.

9) Se recomienda una documentación clara sobre los proyectos que demuestre la complementariedad del trabajo normativo y operacional y la interpretación de la distinción normativa / operativa en cada proyecto.

10) En la definición urbana, el Panel pide un cambio conceptual hacia un enfoque más territorial, enfocándose en las regiones metropolitanas, incluyendo las ciudades, pueblos, áreas periféricas y aldeas que contienen, y evitando la simplificación excesiva de la dicotomía rural-urbana.

11) El Grupo recomienda que ONU-Habitat, en su función de apoyo a los datos, preste especial atención a las lagunas en la recopilación y el análisis de datos que obscurecen las realidades de los grupos excluidos.


12) El Grupo está de acuerdo en que el actual modelo de gobernanza sufre problemas sistémicos que afectan a la rendición de cuentas, eficiencia y eficacia y recomienda algunos cambios fundamentales, centrados en la necesidad de la participación de todos los Estados Miembros y una capacidad para reflejar la complejidad del paisaje de desarrollo urbano con sus múltiples actores.

13) Recomienda una nueva estructura de gobernanza que incluya la membresía universal de los 193 Estados Miembros en una Asamblea Urbana General y la adición de una pequeña Junta de Política enfocada para proporcionar asesoramiento estratégico y de políticas así como la supervisión de proyectos. La Junta de Política integraría las aportaciones del CPR, la Secretaría y el Director Ejecutivo, pero también de un comité de autoridades locales y subnacionales y un comité de interesados urbanos, ambos con capacidad para evaluar y revisar resoluciones y ofrecer orientación coordinada al Consejo de Políticas. UN-Urban también asesoraría a esta Junta Directiva.

14) El Grupo recomienda que la Asamblea Urbana organice su calendario y la ubicación de sus reuniones para maximizar las posibilidades de superposición tanto con la Asamblea de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente como con la Asamblea General.

15) ONU-Habitat debería contar también con una mayor presencia de personal en Nueva York, en especial del personal de alto nivel para mejorar la coordinación y estrechar las relaciones con las entidades de las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York.

16) ONU-Habitat debería tener más personal en Nairobi, Nueva York y oficinas regionales, con paridad de género para cumplir con su misión y mandato de apoyar a los Estados Miembros, los gobiernos subnacionales y los equipos de las Naciones Unidas en los países.


17) Con miras a tener asociaciones activas, eficaces e inclusivas que puedan contribuir a cumplir su mandato de inclusión, el Panel recomienda que ONU-Habitat explore y refuerce las relaciones con las organizaciones representativas de los gobiernos locales y la sociedad civil, así como el fortalecimiento de las asociaciones con las Naciones Unidas y las Comisiones Económicas Regionales.

18) Insta también a ONU-Habitat a explorar maneras de alentar a los actores del sector privado a examinar los impactos negativos no deseados de sus inversiones y a encontrar formas de mitigarlas.

19) Por último, recomienda institucionalizar el Foro Urbano Mundial (FUM), para ayudar a mantener la NAU firmemente en la agenda global. Propone que se integren los resultados del FUM en el plan estratégico y el programa de trabajo y el presupuesto de ONU-Habitat. Esto debería hacerse mediante un informe sobre los resultados de la Junta de Política para su integración en las resoluciones de la Asamblea Urbana.

Capacidad financiera

20) El Grupo recomienda que se haga un llamamiento urgente a los Estados Miembros para que apoyen a ONU-Habitat con fondos comprometidos para varios años. Además, recomienda que ONU-Habitat elabore un plan y un marco de gastos a mediano plazo de cuatro a cinco años.

21) A fin de alentar las contribuciones voluntarias de los Estados Miembros, el Grupo recomienda que ONU-Habitat especifique el porcentaje de los fondos básicos gastados en personal y otros gastos administrativos.

22) Para reforzar la prioridad asignada al trabajo normativo, el Panel recomienda que se destine una parte de la financiación de la cooperación técnica específica, a la vinculación con la misión normativa, y propone con firmeza un límite a los fondos asignados de los Estados Miembros que se destinen al trabajo operacional.

23) El Grupo recomienda que ONU-Habitat explore las ventajas de la modalidad de donación, dándole a la organización más flexibilidad de gestión y capacidad de respuesta, al tiempo que le permite seguir formando parte de la Secretaría de las Naciones Unidas.

24) A fin de explorar fuentes nuevas e innovadoras de financiación y aumentar los recursos disponibles para una urbanización inclusiva y sostenible, el Grupo recomienda que ONU-Habitat desarrolle una estrategia de cooperación con bancos multilaterales, instituciones financieras y fuentes privadas de financiación. También se podría explorar el potencial de financiamiento y recaudación de fondos inherente a las relaciones urbanas locales.

25) Por último, el Panel recomienda la creación de un Fondo Fiduciario Global que funcione como plataforma para obtener financiación alternativa para los esfuerzos de urbanización sostenible.

Con el fin de mantener el impulso en torno a la implementación de la Nueva Agenda Urbana y reflexionar sobre el posicionamiento de ONU-Habitat en ese sentido, el Presidente de la Asamblea General de la ONU convocó a una reunión de Alto Nivel de la Asamblea General los días 5 y 6 de septiembre de 2017 para debatir, entre otras cosas, el Informe del Panel Independiente del Secretario General para evaluar y mejorar la eficacia de ONU-Habitat

Youth DeclarAction for Habitat III


And .. its live! Please read the Youth DeclarAction for Habitat III.

Young people from all over the world gather in Quito to create the Youth DeclarACTION for the New Urban Agenda

Quito, October 14th, 2016. Young people participating at the YoutHab Conference have gathered from October 13th to 15th, 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, to develop a “DeclarACTION” to seek local authorities commitment to youths within the framework of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and strengthen the partnership between them. Supported by UN-Habitat and a coalition of 10 civil society partners, youth worked 24/7 to assure that everyone’s perspective was heard and reflected in the final statement.


The Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas, opened the YoutHab conference with a strong endorsement of youth’s engagement in the New Urban Agenda.

“Certainly the more voices and more participation we have in these discussions [on the New Urban Agenda], we will have better elements to build a city more respectful of human rights, a city that offers quality public services, a more democratic city where everyone can access spaces, have first class infrastructure, booming economic development and social inclusion under a clear focus on respect for the environment, natural resources “, stated Mayor Rhodes.

The “DeclarACTION” proposes goals and actions that fulfill youths demands and needs to achieve more just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and builds a roadmap to cities’ governments and young people work together. It is structured according to the same that structure NUA’S Zero Draft.

The document approved included not only the actions co-created by young people present in the YoutHab conference but also the propositions of consultations and position papers written and/or subscribed by youths that were previously systematized and integrated to the process the development of the DeclarACTION to ensure an inclusive and integrated approach. In YoutHab people from 14 countries were present and propositions from 20 countries were systematized as a part of other regional and international the 5 regions of the world consultations and positions papers.

The “DeclarACTION” will be officially launched and available on Youthab’s website in the first day of Habitat III, October 17th, 2016 when the first approach with youthmand with the horizon of an approved NUA begins. Bellow, a first overview of its content with the goals developed. Please see this link for updates on the DeclarACTION :

For More information:
Ana Cristina Benalcazar and Alice Junqueira

In Text Version
Youth DeclarACTION for the New Urban Agenda

We, young people participating in the YoutHab Conference, have gathered from October 13th to 15th, 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, to co-create this “DeclarACTION” in order to seek a local authority commitment to the youth within the framework of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and strengthen the partnership between city governments and young people. With 1.8 billion young people worldwide and considering the demographic transition we are currently living, today more than ever, it is absolutely crucial to include us in working to achieve NUA’s compromises and, as equally important, in the work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this sense, as active and compromised citizens, we are proposing goals and actions that fulfill our demands and needs to achieve more equitable, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and share a roadmap so city governments and young people from all around the world can work together.

The approved document includes not only actions co-created by young people present at the YoutHab Conference, but also the proposals of consultations and position papers written and / or subscribed by youth, that were previously systematized and integrated in the processes of the creation of the DeclarACTION, aiming to guarantee an inclusive and integrated approach to it. This way, the document compiles the inputs from young participants from 15 different countries that attended the YoutHab Conference; in addition, it includes the proposals of consultations and position papers from 20 countries, as well as regional and international youth statements.

In this regard, we:

Build on our core principles of Human Rights, Right to the City and Universal Access to Opportunity and Infrastructure;

Acknowledge the ongoing work of our governments and local authorities to engage youth but, emphasize that we still need to be seen as key assets and partners in the process of designing, implementing and monitoring of public policies; and not only be seen as its beneficiaries, since we are the ones who suffer the consequences of poor decision-making;

Express the need for UN-HABITAT, as a leading UN agency to implement NUA, to strengthen its support of youth initiatives, national and local governments, and youth partnerships and;

Call on all Member States to also support the implementation of the NUA and increase the capacity of youth and local governments to work in a collaborative manner and promote the engagement of young people in the implementation of the action points we have proposed to reach defined goals:


1) To eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, recognize it is a multidimensional problem and approach it cross-sectionally; 2) To guarantee equal access to affordable, culturally appropriate, age-responsive, easily available, accessible, non-discriminatory infrastructure of basic services; 3) To eliminate discrimination against young people and fight generational prejudice; 4) To prevent and end all forms of violence, crime and discrimination; especially violence, crimes and discrimination based on gender, race and ethnicity and those against children and youth; 5) To protect and foster diversity, heritage, tangible and intangible urban cultural expressions; 6) To guarantee migrants, internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees’ rights and foster their inclusion in cities.


1) To eliminate youth unemployment; 2) To regulate the informal sector and prevent the criminalization and stigmatization of artistic and informal economic activities; 3) To foster youth entrepreneurship, fair trade, local economies and new models of economy; 4) To eradicate child labor, forced labor and all kinds of exploitation; 5) To guarantee universal access to education; 6) To guarantee access to quality health services, including sexual and reproductive health services.


1) To guarantee an environmentally sustainable urban development and minimize cities’ environmental impact; 2) To develop resilient urban infrastructure and promote disaster risk management; 3) To promote alternative mobility infrastructure and systems that prioritize walkability, pedestrian safety, cycling and public transportation; 4) To create efficient, environmentally friendly and and low-carbon public transportation systems; 5) To promote energy conservation and ensure affordable and sustainable energy for all.


1) To adopt and implement financed, multi-sector, bottom-up participation mechanisms that value young people as key actors; 2) To promote and implement data-based decision making processes with disaggregated data; 3) To eliminate corruption and improve participation, transparency and accountability mechanisms; 4) To promote user- friendly Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) and foster access to information, accountability and public effectiveness and efficiency.


1) To adopt and implement urban planning processes that promote sustainability, inclusion, equity, well-being and the right to the city; 2) To consider the urban-rural linkages and dynamics for urban planning to protect natural resources and foster equitable regional development; 3) To create efficient and integrated public transport systems; 4) To create and maintain safe, inclusive, accessible, green, multi-purpose and quality public spaces; 5) To adopt and implement housing policies that will guarantee an adequate standard of living for all; 6) To guarantee the social function of land and tenure security; 7) To upgrade informal settlements and slums and prioritize integrated, multidimensional and participatory interventions.

Highlighted above are the goals that establish the roadmap we want to see put into practice to start our communities and cities transformation through the NUA, along with the SDGs. We are ready and willing to partner with our local governments and other stakeholders to join forces towards building more people-centered, socially cohesive, equitable, inclusive, intergenerational, environmentally-friendly, democratic and collaborative cities. We ask the governments and local authorities to take urgent steps to ensure that we are finally listened to and taken seriously. As young and responsible citizens who have already been working hard to improve our cities, we commit to continue to be part of the implementation of the action points outlined in this “DeclarACTION” that are further detailed in the website:


Alcalde Rodas asistió al conversatorio de jóvenes ‘YoutHab’ para Habitat III

En horas de la mañana de este 13 de octubre, el Alcalde de Quito Mauricio Rodas formó parte del conversatorio denominado YoutHab promovido por grupos, universidades y varios colectivos de jóvenes, dentro de la agenda del evento internacional Habitat III. Se desarrolló en las instalaciones de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional.

Este evento contó con la presencia de Christian López, de CLIL/YoutHab, Douglas Reagan de UN-Habitat III; Anja Minnaert de FES-ILDIS, Ana Cristina Benalcázar, de CLICL/YoutHab; Roberto Madera de CLICL/YoutHab y decenas de jóvenes que se dieron cita para participar activamente en este conversatorio.

El Alcalde de Quito Mauricio Rodas felicitó a los jóvenes por esta iniciativa de YoutHab y dijo que es una oportunidad para incorporar la activa participación de la juventud a fin que sus ideas puedan ser tomadas en cuenta en los debates que se  van a generar como un aporte de este sector poblacional para la aplicación de la nueva Agenda Urbana que se aprobará en Quito durante Habitat III.

santa-clara“Sin duda mientras más voces y más participación tengamos en esos debates contaremos con mejores elementos para construir una ciudad más democrática, más  respetuosa de los derechos humanos, una ciudad que ofrezca servicios públicos de calidad, una ciudad en la que todos podamos apropiarnos de los espacios en virtud de contar con infraestructura de primer nivel, que impulse el desarrollo económico y la inclusión social bajo un claro enfoque de respeto al medio ambiente, a los recursos naturales”, refirió el Alcalde Rodas.

Recalcó que todos estos temas son fundamentales y el aporte de los jóvenes con sus ideas va a enriquecer tremendamente la discusión en temas tan importantes.


El alcalde Rodas ratificó una vez más que durante dos años la Municipalidad de Quito se ha preparado para Habitat III y que la cuidad está lista, será una oportunidad muy importantes para mostrarnos como una urbe con extraordinarios atractivos turísticos, como una ciudad con una población que recibe a sus visitantes con corazón abierto, con calidez, con la amabilidad que siempre ha caracterizado a los quiteños.

También será la ocasión para que la capital presente su visión en materia de desarrollo urbano sostenible, de una ciudad que permanentemente trabaja para el mejoramiento de la calidad de vida de sus ciudadanos, con esquemas de movilidad sostenible, de protección a los recursos naturales, con mecanismos de impulso al desarrollo económico bajo un profundo enfoque de inclusión social, que se respeten las libertades, los derechos humanos de todas las personas. Una ciudad que promueve la diversidad cultural.

“En breves palabras esa es la visión que Quito va a promover hacia el 2040”, dijo el Alcalde Mauricio Rodas, quien aprovechó para extender la más cordial invitación para que todos disfruten también de la amplia agenda cultural prepara por la Alcaldía de Quito en el marco de Habitat III la misma que incluye la Fiesta de la Luz y una amplia gama de eventos totalmente gratuitos.

“Que esta sea una fiesta para todos los quiteños, que la disfruten con sus familias en las diferentes plazas del Centro Histórico”, señaló el Alcalde capitalino Mauricio Rodas.

Mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rhodes attends ‘YoutHab’ conference for Habitat III

In the morning of the 13th October, the Mayor of Quito Mauricio Rodas was part of the YoutHab conferences sponsored by groups, universities and several groups of young people, within the agenda of Habitat III. The conference was held at the National Polytechnic School.

This event was attended by Christian Lopez, CLIL/ YoutHab; Douglas Reagan UN-Habitat; Anja Minnaert FES-ILDIS; Ana Cristina Benalcázar of CLICL / YoutHab; Robert Wood CLICL / YoutHab and young people gathered to actively participate in this discussion group.

Mayor Rodas congratulated the youth for this initiative YoutHab and said it is an opportunity to incorporate the active participation of youth so that their ideas can be taken into account in the discussions that will be generated as a contribution this population sector for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to be adopted in Quito for Habitat III.

“Certainly the more voices and more participation we have in these discussions we will have better elements to build a more respectful of human rights, a city that offers quality public services, a more democratic city where everyone can access spaces,  have first class infrastructure, booming economic development and social inclusion under a clear focus on respect for the environment, natural resources “, said Mayor Rhodes.

He stressed that all these issues are fundamental and the contribution of young people with their ideas will enrich the discussion tremendously important issues.

Mayor Rhodes confirmed once again that for two years the Municipality of Quito has been prepared for Habitat III and that the city is ready, it will be a very important opportunity to showcase the city through its extraordinary attractions include a city with a population welcomes visitors with open heart, with warmth, with the kindness that has always characterized the Quiteños.

It will also be the occasion for the capital present their vision on sustainable urban development, a city that constantly works to improve the quality of life of its citizens, with projects on sustainable mobility, protection of natural resources, mechanisms promoting economic development with a deep focus on social inclusion, and a city where freedoms are respected and the human rights of all people. And lastly a city that promotes cultural diversity.

“In short this is the vision that Quito will promote by 2040,” said Mayor Rodas, who took the opportunity to extend a warm invitation to all also enjoy the wide cultural agenda prepared by the Municipality of Quito in Habitat III framework thereof including the Festival of Lights and a wide range of fully free events.

“Let this be a party for all Quiteños, who can enjoy the event with their families in different places of the Historic Center,” said City Mayor Mauricio Rodas.


YOUTHAB is a Latin American and Caribbean Youth Movement Against Climate Change (CLIC! – in Spanish) project led by the Ecuador team. CLIC! is based in eleven countries across the Latin American and Caribbean region. YOUTHAB has partnered with UN-Habitat and a number of key international NGOs such as Plan International, Scouts, AIESEC and World Vision.

In early June 2015, three young Ecuadorians with similar backgrounds in, and links to, environmental issues came together to imagine what the outcome and possibilities would be of creating spaces and processes for youth participation not only in Ecuador but across the region and the world. With the goal to motivate young people to engage in decision-making, ensuring that their voices aspirations for their cities, their neighbourhoods, or their communities are heard.

Currently, the YOUTHAB project has a team of twenty-two volunteers from diverse and multi-disciplinary educational backgrounds and nationalities, all are based in Ecuador. In addition, these agents of change also live in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. We represent a vast gamma of nations, gender, and ideologies, which allows us to conceive the realisation of the diverse city.

YOUTHAB is a process of collaborative, collective, and inclusive participation of young people, which seeks an inclusive, resilient, and fair habitat. Those of us who comprise YOUTHAB, see and feel the city as a laboratory of ideas, comprised of space spaces where we come together, where we learn, where we surprise ourselves, and where we meet to generate change. This magnificent lab belongs to the people, and in particular to young people.


We influence the city, collaboratively producing knowledge and transparent data to encourage innovation and social development. We call brainstorming interventions by bringing people together to meet and socialise in their local neighbourhoods or cafes and discuss cities the problems and challenges that rapid urbanisation causes. These brainstorming interventions have taken place in Quito, Ibarra, Cuenca, and Toluca among friends with common objectives. To date, we have engaged 800 people on issues relating to the New Urban Agenda. At the same time, we conduct open youth consultations at the national, rural and urban levels, in order to gauge the youth perspective on issues of culture, migration, mobility, and/or technology.

One of the most important milestones in this process will be the organization of the World Youth Conference on Habitat and the Right to the City. The YOUTHAB Conference is framed within the context of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and will be held from 13 to October 15, 2016, in Quito, Ecuador. During this process we seek to agree on a global action-based declaration conceived by young people; develop a monitoring mechanism, which we have dubbed the “Pledge with my Local Authority”; and the development of the “Active Labs”, creative spaces across the city of Quito with the collaboration of the Local Authority of Quito. UN-Habitat will undertake a few project during the YoutHAB be launching with AIESEC international the #UrbanAction campaign which will promote youth action for the New Urban Agenda and urban SDGs.

Why did a group of civil society youth actors dare to develop this project? Because urbanisation is an issue of shared responsibility. We are the latest generation that can generate positive change and have a significant impact, by employing tools at our disposal. We must act now! We have to empower our cities, parks, squares, push for the means of transport we want, empower public spaces, and we have a responsibility to act now!


The next generation will not have the same opportunities to bring change, for them it will be too late. We have chosen to act and with volunteers working to making the YOUTHAB project a reality, we have chosen to contribute, to come together, and to build a platform that will elevate the participation or youth in city and urban and rural linkages issues and challenges.

There may have been times you felt the need to take action and realise an exciting idea worth fighting for, at which point you may have thought: I am alone, no one will listen, or no one will care. We believe that you are not alone, change is in your hands #JovenesRepensandoLaCuidad (Youth rethinking the City)!

Ana Cristina Benalcazar

Project Coordinator Youthab