The World Urban Campaign at Habitat III: an Unprecedented Promise to Action

The World Urban Campaign at Habitat III: an Unprecedented Promise to Action

The Habitat III Conference has been an extraordinary moment for the partners of the World Urban Campaign, 20 years after Istanbul, were promises were made to bring partnerships to the front scene of international negotiations. The WUC partners, through their commitment in the last 17 years of engagement, since the creation of the post Habitat II global campaigns, have battled to make sustainable urbanization a top issue in the international development agenda. With the support of their special initiative, the General Assembly of Partners, designed in 2014 by their Steering Committee and convened at PrepCom2, the WUC has succeeded in bringing their top issues encapsulated in The City We Need at the heart of the New Urban Agenda.

During the Quito Conference and Stakeholders events, WUC Partners have been directly visible in more than 60 sessions they have organized –Side Events, Networking Events, Urban Future Events, Urban Library Events, Parrallel Events, Training Events and Special Sessions – and in several booths of the exhibition areas. They have also played a lead role in the Business, Women and Children and Youth Assembly, as well as in the several round-tables they have co-organized, bringing their foot-print in the overall process of the conference. The unique WUC session spearheaded by Arcadis which brough together all Urban Thinkers Campus leaders has been an important moment to gather all energies towards the next phase of the Campus process to be an action-oriented new era for the Global Campaign.

The WUC Steering Committee meeting itself, which was held prior to the Conference on 15-16 October has been a positive meeting to pave the way forward. The new elected Co-Chairs Rose Molokoane and Sandeep Chachra, demonstrate a new trust in civil society organizations from the South to bring a new push to action that is vital and most needed for the Campaign partners in order to deliver the New Urban Agenda on the ground.

As one of the most internationally recognized grassroots activists involved in land tenure and housing issues, Coordinator at Shack/Slum Dwellers International and National Coordinator of the South Africa Alliance and the Federation of the Urban Poor, Rose Molokoane’s leadership and grounded experience will help to bring the World Urban Campaign at a new level of advocacy effort in this new phase of engagement in the Post-Habitat III era. Similarly, Sandeep Chachra’s long-standing experience as Executive Director of ActionAid India and active player in the South South Peoples Solidarity Forum and the World Forum of Alternatives, will greatly support the Campaign in this new cycle of action.

New elected Chairs of the Standing Committee will also help boost the commitment of WUC Partners groups : Filip Roca (Metropolis) for the Local  and sub-national authorities, Dr. Sahar Attia (Habitat UNI) for the research and academia, Jane Katz (Habitat for Humanity) for the civil society, Maureen Friar (Huairou Commission) for the Women, Sandy Schillen, Josephine B. Castillo, Violet Shivutse and Relinda Sosa (Groots International) for the grass-roots, Joyati Das (World Vision) for the children and youth, Didier Vancutsem (Isocarp) for the professionals, Irge Aujouannet (World Business council for Sustainable Development) for the business and industries, Ambet Yuson (Building and Woodworkers International) for trade unions and workers, and Cecil W. Steward (Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities) for the older persons.

New working groups have been convened and a road map agreed upon, with key milestones and activities around a new generation of Urban Thinkers Campuses as platforms for transformative action.

UN-Habitat stands firmly behind this strong new team, and all its dedicated partners united by the same spirit of achievement towards The City We Need and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. 


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Article by ''Christine Auclair, Projet Leader - World Urban Campaign'' 
Photo Credits: Devina Meinzingen (CC)