27 – 31 May 2019 | NAIROBI – UCLG ASPAC, together with more than 3,900 participants, attended the UN-Habitat First General Assembly to discuss the plan for better human settlements and sustainable urban development. The event was inaugurated by the President of Kenya, H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, and presided over by Ms. Martha Delgado, Under Secretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the capacity of the President of the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly. UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres delivered his remarks via VDO conference.

Other distinguished participants included more than 60 mayors, 2,900 national officials and 470 representatives from NGOs, academic and private sector. The participants were of the view that innovation and creativity should be at the forefront of the efforts to tackle urban challenges and provide better urban life. In line with this spirit, five resolutions covering safer cities; capacity building for implementing the New Urban Agenda; achieving gender equality through UN-Habitat’s work to support inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements; and enhancing urban rural linkages for sustainable urbanisation were adopted during the General Assembly.

During the event, UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, together with other members of Advisory Group on Gender Issues (AGGI) and UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, highlighted the need of stronger gender equality programmes and strategies. The discussion resulted in the adoption of gender resolution. In addition, Ridwan Kamil, Governor of West Java (Indonesia) representing local governments, delivered a speech that called for inclusiveness, human-centered development and happiness for people-centered urban development.

Underlining the importance of partnership, UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif reiterated that “The issues that symbolise our common fight and that bring us together, whether it is extreme poverty, inequalities, slums, social exclusion and marginalisation, gender-based discrimination, humanitarian crises, conflicts, climate change, or high unemployment, deserve more attention than our differences.”

UCLG ASPAC has a well-established partnership with UN-Habitat to work on a broad-range of issues including public spaces and safety in the Asia-Pacific region.