Skip to main content

Habitat III needs to integrate the 2030 Agenda, Paris Outcome,Addis Ababa and Sendai

I am a huge supporter as are most Member states of utilizing the Habitat III conference to be a major implementing agent for the SDGs, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and the Paris Climate Agreement at the local and sub-national level.

There is no question that the Habitat III process is way behind where Habitat II was at this point in 1996. Not only was there a text then that member states were happy to negotiate around by now but many many more days still left to negotiate that text.

In 1996 there was still 23 days of negotiating days left for Habitat II at this time in the process. Habitat III has only nine days left for negotiations -  though there is a proposal for an additional two days at the end of this month. Clearly there will need to be additional days I would guess in total 10-15 to address the 104 page comments by member states into the 20 page original zero draft. A new text is expected by the end of this week.

I see only two possibilities.
  1. That a significant number of extra days be added  
  2. That the only thing there is time left for without the extra days in the declaration part of the text and the implementation part would fall. 
This would be a huge failure.

The mistakes go back to 2015 when as the 2030 process was being negotiated the Habitat process wasn’t being presented as the implementation on the 2030 Agenda at the local level. If it had been then the large number of stakeholders engaged in the 2030 Agenda would have continued their work  and committed to Habitat III.

The meeting last week appointed two excellent co-facilitators (Mexico and Philippines) who set up three informal-informal  working groups on:
1) Right to the City
2) MoI
3) Follow Up and Review

The informal-informal meetings were closed to stakeholders which  means that Habitat III process is LESS inclusive than Habitat II when the negotiations start. For Habitat II stakeholders could attend, speak and at times facilitate informal informals if the chair requested it.

There is still a chance to deliver a solid and useful text.

The text

I look forward to reading the new version of the text, So what should be in it?

First the 57 targets from the SDGs that are relevant to the present text we have infront of us. Only with those placed in the text will it be clear HOW this process is going to be about implementing the 2030 Agenda at the local and sub national level.

I would add that there are infact 122 targets that are relevant to the local level but I think it is too  ambitious to expect all of them to be included. In an excellent paper by Philipp Misselwitz with María Rosa Muñoz and Anna Marie Walter (Urban Catalyst Studio/ TU Berlin) they say:

26 targets (21%) have a link to the first theme “Leave no one behind, Urban Equity and Poverty Eradication”.

22 targets (18%) have a link to the second theme “Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Prosperity and Opportunities for All”.

22 targets (18%) have a link to the third theme “Foster Ecological and Resilient Cities and Human Settlements”.

Strong linkages can be found to the following SDGs:
SDG 1 (Poverty)
SDG 4 (Education)
SDG 5 (Gender)
SDG 6 (Water),
SDG 7 (Energy)
SDG 11 (Cities)

No links can be detected to Goals 2 (Hunger) and 14 (Oceans). The lack of association to Goal 2 that refers to food production and agriculture may reveal a lack of awareness about the importance of urban-rural linkages for urban sustainability.

The following missing links may be of particular concern
SDG 3 (Health)/ Target 3.6: “By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents”.
SDG 12 (Consumption), Target 12.3: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses”.
SDG 13 (Climate), the involvement of urban actors in what is pointed out in Target 13.3: “Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning” is essential to mitigate the impacts of Climate Change as it was already affirmed in the Paris City Hall Declaration during the COP21.


Popular posts from this blog

Guest Blog Mike Barry: 5 things we learnt on Marks and Spencer Plan A journey over last 12 months

Guest Blog by Mike Barry:  Director of Sustainable Business (Plan A) at Marks and Spencer

It’s that time of year, publication of our annual sustainability (Plan A) report. After the harum scarum dash to gather, collate, assure, sign-off and publish a wealth of data we can breathe (for a moment!) and reflect on what it all means.
Here are some quick insights into what we’ve learnt at M&S in the last 12 months on our Plan A journey.
1. Succession – Nine years is a long time in the world of sustainable business. How many corporate plans have come and gone since we launched Plan A in 2007? Too many! The continuity offered by having a single multi-year plan has been incredibly important. It’s allowed us to take long term decisions in a very short term turbulent retail marketplace. It’s allowed us to build the skills and capabilities in our business units to integrate Plan A into their ways of working. It’s allowed us to pick our battles, knowing that occasionally we’ve just got to let a …

Bokova out? Georgieva in for next UN Secretary General

The rumors that have been circulating for the last month have now proven to be true. The Bulgarian government has withdrawn support from Irina Bokova as their candidate for UN Secretary General and replaced her with Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for budget and human resources.
There is some evidence that the right of center parties in European capitals have been behind this with some articles appearing in the last few weeks against Bokova. The Guardian reported on the 26th: “one of her (Kristalina’s) staff members was hacked and emails purporting to be from one of her top aides were sent out to the rest of her office, instructing them to attack Bokova”There is no question that Kristalina has the cv and record to be a very good UN Secretary General. She is a strong supporter of sustainable development issues she will pick up the SDGs and climate agendas with ease. She is dynamic and very personable and was very active around last week’s UN General Assembly High Level se…

Rest in Peace Tania Valerie Raguz 'one of our own'

Photo by IISD/ENB 
It is with deep sadness that I heard of the passing of Tania Valerie Raguz.

Many of us will have worked with her at United Nations meetings over the past ten years when she was the First Secretary of the Mission of Croatia to the UN.

Tania Valerie Raguz was on the Bureau for Rio+20 and a Vice-Chair Of the Bureau of the seventeenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and  most recently she had joined the world of NGOs working as the Public Affairs Advisor for the World Animal Protection previously know as World Society for the Protection of Animals. WAP had been very active around Rio+20 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and she helped their work particularly around the SDGs.

Tania played her role in helping to frame the agenda that we are all committed to delivering on. CSD17 was one of the more successful CSD and without Rio+20 there would be no Sustainable Development Goals.

Photo by IISD/ENB I will miss her positive energy, laught…