United Nations Human Settlements Program

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The United Nations Human Settlements Program
United Nations Human Settlements Program

Organization type program
Abbreviation UN-HABITAT
management Maimunah Mohd Sharif Malaysia
status active
Founded 1978
Headquarters Nairobi Kenya
Upper organization United NationsU.N. United Nations

The United Nations Human Settlements Program - UN-HABITAT ( United Nations Human Settlements Program , including Human Settlements Summit or United Nations Conference on Human Settlements ), the Human Settlements Program United Nations . In 2001 it became an independent program of the UN through resolution A / 56/206 of the UN General Assembly . The organization is based in Nairobi / Kenya with further regional offices in Fukuoka for Asia and the Pacific, Rio de Janeiro for Latin America and Cairo for the Arab states.

For 2016, the organization had revenues of $ 229 million and expenses of $ 186 million.


As early as 1976, the first world settlement summit of the United Nations under the name HABITAT took place in Vancouver, Canada . He dealt with questions of housing supply and housing shortages. As a result of this conference in 1978 was the United Nations Center for Human Settlements ( United Nations Center for Human Settlements , UNCHS) was founded. It consists of 58 member states that represent all regions of the world. Its task is to politically accompany and evaluate the work of HABITAT, as well as to advise the UN General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council on questions of sustainable development in the area of ​​housing and settlement.


1996 took place in the Turkish Istanbul , the second summit conference ( HABITAT II , and The Cities Summit ) instead. It was dominated by the immense increase in urbanization and slumbers around the world . Finally, the “Habitat Agenda” and the “Istanbul Declaration” were adopted. Here, concepts for adequate, sustainable development in the building and settlement sector were developed and laid down. The global action plan includes:

  • Adequate, needs-oriented accommodation for everyone
  • Sustainable human settlement development in an urbanizing world
  • Capacity building and institutional development
  • International cooperation and coordination
  • Implementation and follow-up of the habitat agenda

In 2001, at a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, all 171 member states of the United Nations participating in the program met to present their results. At this meeting ( Istanbul +5 ), many countries submitted national reports on the implementation of the Habitat Agenda for the first time, including Germany with the report “On the way to sustainable settlement development”. One element of the German action plan for environmentally, economically and socially fair urban development was the building law compromise .


The third summit took place from October 17-20, 2016 in Quito , Ecuador . This was decided at the UN General Assembly in Resolution 66/207 and Resolution 67/216. The title of the conference was "Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development".

The following preparatory commissions prepared the Habitat III conference:
1st preparatory commission in New York , September 2014
2nd preparatory commission in Nairobi , April 2015
3rd preparatory commission in July 2016
The preparations were carried out by an elected office of UN member states with a secretariat directed.

World Urban Forums ( World Urban Forum , WUF)

Since 2002, HABITAT has organized the so-called World Urban Forum (WUF) every two years . The first forum took place in 2002 in Nairobi , Kenya . This was followed by:

The eighth World Cities Forum was canceled because of the 2016 Habitat III conference,

  • WUF 9: February 7-13, 2018, Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
  • WUF 10 to take place in 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Non-governmental organizations

Parallel to the development of the UN settlement program, a “landscape” of non-governmental organizations (NGOs / NGOs) and urban grassroots movements developed, which networked internationally and also had an influence on international agreements and negotiations. A highlight of the participation of the NGO sector was the forum of non-governmental organizations at the HABITAT II conference in Istanbul. A traditional international network of the Habitat movement is the HABITAT International Coalition (HIC), whose predecessor was founded as the HABITAT International Council in Vancouver in 1976.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. UN HABITAT Regional Offices ( Memento from November 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Expenditure by Agency | United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Retrieved November 22, 2018 .
  3. United Nations: UN-HABITAT. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2019, accessed on May 5, 2019 .
  4. National report of the Federal Republic of Germany on the 25th special session of the General Assembly of the United Nations ("Istanbul + 5") Berlin 2001
  5. deutschlandfunk.de , Economy and Society , October 18, 2016, Anne Herrberg: New Cities Agenda for the World (November 1, 2016)
  6. badische-zeitung.de , Abroad , October 19, 2016, Frauke Wolter: The problems of megacities are enormous (November 1, 2016)
  7. unhabitat.org: Habitat III Vision ( Memento from October 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 260kB)
  8. un.org: Oral Statement by the Secretariat , United Nations (PDF)