Sustainable urbanization is the theme for the UN-Habitat assembly in Nairobi

About 3 thousand delegates, including four chiefs of state and over 40 ministers are participating in the first Assembly of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The meeting will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, this week, for adopting standards and global policies that will guide cities and communities on how they should be planned, administered, and governed.

Nairobi, capital of Kenya, hosts the first UN-HABITAT Assembly

Representatives from 116 countries are participating in this assembly, among them are governors, mayors, representatives from civil associations, and non-governmental organizations, academics, and business people. The main theme is “Innovation for a better quality of life in cities and communities.”

Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, during the opening ceremony of the event, emphasized the need for international collective action to face the challenges for rapid urbanization.   He reminded everyone there are still many societies that are not adequately prepared for this.

The delegates from the United Nations member States elected Martha Delgado, who is the assistant secretary of multilateral affairs and human rights of the Foreign Affair Minister of Mexico, on that occasion as president of the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly.

“I would like to emphasize my profound appreciation to all the Member-States who have bestowed this great honor to my country, Mexico, for electing me as president. I will assure everyone that I will do my best,” she confirmed.

During the five days of the meeting, there are another 50 events that will take place at the same time. They will treat such themes as social habitation, blue economy, inhabitable Somali cities, safe cities for girls and women, climactic action, and state-of-the-art technology, as well as press events on urban population transfers.

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“The UN-Habitat Assembly provides a fantastic opportunity for everyone so we can inspire others with new ideas and examples on how we have used innovation to maximize opportunities provided by urbanization and overcome challenges,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the executive director of the ProgramME.

“Nobody here needs to be convinced that sustainable urbanization is a key issue for right now. How are we going to overcome the challenges and maximize opportunities? The theme of the assembly stated. If we do not innovate, and if we continue doing business as previously, we will have very slight possibilities of making progress,” the director continued speaking.


UN-HABITAT is an agency of the United Nations for sustainable urbanization and human settlements. Its headquarters are in Nairobi, and there are active programs around 90 countries. A resolution was created and approved in December 2018 by the UN General Assembly; the ONU-HABITAT assembly will meet every four years for strengthening its mandate. There are representatives from 193 member States the United Nations who will meet in Nairobi to draft the global agenda on urbanization, approve resolutions, and supply strategic guidance for the work of UN-HABITAT.