The final formal negotiations ahead of Habitat III in Quito took place in Surabaya, Indonesia, from July 25 to 27, making strong progress with a fresh draft of the New Urban Agenda. A large turnout of more than 4,000 participants from 142 countries joined the conference to discuss crucial points of the agenda on sustainable urbanization.
The third session of the Preparatory Committee of Habitat III (PrepCom3) brought together delegates from United Nations member-states, representatives from intergovernmental organizations and local and regional governments, and stakeholders to discuss the New Urban Agenda, a landmark agreement setting out a new policy direction and strategy on housing and sustainable urbanization. It featured three days of intensive negotiations among representatives of member-states, making strong progress but also showing the various challenges that still need to be overcome ahead of Quito.
At the plenary session on July 26, stakeholders delivered their official statements. An intervention by local and regional governments (see full text and video) was delivered by Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Municipal President of Seberang Perai, Malaysia, and President of the Malaysian Association of Local Authorities (MALA). Ms. Maimunah also serves as Member of the ICLEI Global Executive Committee.
ICLEI hosts side event
Led by the ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS) and the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), together with the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), Communitas Coalition, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)-Japan, the side event “Advancing Sustainability of Asian Cities and Regions” was successfully held on July 27.
The event brought together government leaders, experts, academics, and global agencies for exchanges on potential solutions and approaches to a wide range of urban challenges in Asia. The diversity of experiences in Asia was reflected in the composition of the speakers and their topics, being multinational (Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India), multilevel (local, regional, national governments), and multi-stakeholder (governments at all levels, international agencies, academe, and finance partners).
Speakers included Seberang Perai Mayor Maimunah; Mr. Junghyun Kim, Global Urban Partnership Division of Seoul Metropolitan Government; Ms. Claudia Hermes, CDIA; Dr. Ho Chin Siong, UTM; Mr. Boyd Dionysius Joeman, Iskandar Regional Development Authority; Dr Junichi Fujino, IGES-Japan; Mr. Edward Abdurrahman, Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing of Indonesia; and Mr. Yunus Arikan, ICLEI World Secretariat. Mr. Emani Kumar, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General and South Asia Secretariat Regional Director moderated the event.
Datuk HJ. Mohammad Bin Mentek, Secretary-General of Malaysian Ministry of Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government and Head of Malaysian Delegation at Habitat III PrepCom3 also delivered a warm and encouraging closing remark, congratulating all partners and inviting an active collaboration in preparation for the World Urban Forum 9 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2018.
ICLEI at the Urban Speakers Corner
ICLEI also hosted a session at the Urban Speakers Corner titled “Globalizing Integrated Transformative Actions to Ensure Sustainability of the Urban World 2030” (see presentations). The Speakers Corner was created as a space for creative and dynamic exchange among thought leaders and experts. Speakers included Ms. Maimunah and Mr. Kumar, while Mr. Arikan, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the ICLEI World Secretariat, moderated the event.
Ms. Maimunah highlighted the local responses and practices undertaken by the municipality of Seberang Perai in the area of waste management, citizen’s engagement, and environmental sustainability. She emphasized the importance of local action to become globally competitive, to “think local, act global” and to “learn global, apply local”. Meanwhile, Mr. Kumar introduced the work of ICLEI over the last 25 years and discussed its 10-point approach in addressing issues of urban development.