Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development departs for the United Nations Habitat III Summit in Quito, Ecuador

OTTAWA, Oct. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development will travel to Quito, Ecuador, for the United Nations (UN) Habitat III Summit on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development being held October 17–20. During the Summit, the Minister will lead a strong delegation of over 130 Canadians representing all orders of government, the private sector, civil society, Indigenous groups, academia and youth.

The UN Habitat III Summit is expected to result in the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, an international declaration that will strengthen the political commitment among participating countries for the sustainable development of cities, towns and other human settlements across the globe for the next 20 years.

Canada embraces the guiding principles set for the Habitat III Summit and the New Urban Agenda. These principles echo the Government's objectives for Canada as outlined in Budget 2016. Throughout the process to negotiate the declaration, Canada has been a strong voice for the promotion and protection of human rights and the advancement of democratic values. Canada is also recognized as a leader in the areas of partnership and innovation, and a strong advocate for the inclusion of under‑represented groups, including women, Indigenous people, at-risk youth, immigrants and the LGBTI community.

Over the four days, the Minister will meet regularly with the Canadian delegation, as well as various stakeholders present at the conference. He will also participate in high-level meetings and events where he will discuss Canada's experience with promoting diversity and inclusion as well as actions to address complex social problems related to housing, poverty, sustainable development, climate change, health and quality of life.

Canadians can follow Canada's participation at the UN Habitat III Summit in Quito by following Minister Duclos (@jyduclos) and ESDC (@SocDevSoc) on Twitter. They can also join the global conversation using the hashtags #Habitat3 and #NewUrbanAgenda.

Quote
"Canada is eager to be an active participant in the UN's Habitat III Summit and to make a meaningful contribution to the New Urban Agenda. I am looking forward to working with our Canadian partners, and also to learning about the ways that other countries tackle the same challenges that we are facing in Canada."   
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts

  • This is the third summit on the urban agenda. The first summit took place 40 years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Urban centres now represent over half of the global population, and cities are the front line for many of the global community's most pressing issues. Social inequality, climate change and poverty are challenges all orders of government must confront. 
  • Habitat III will bring together 40,000 people from national governments, municipalities, the private sector and civil society to discuss the most pressing challenges and opportunities to ensure equality, quality of life and prosperity for citizens today and for generations to come.
  • From June 22 to September 30, 2016, Canadians were invited to participate in the online consultation on Habitat III and to join the New Urban Agenda conversation. The views gathered through this consultation were used to inform the Canadian delegation and to bring Canada's voice and priorities to the Habitat III Summit, as well as inform subsequent Habitat III processes.

Associated Links

Habitat3.org


Backgrounder


UNITED NATIONS HABITAT III SUMMIT

Habitat III Summit

The United Nations (UN) convened the first Habitat Summit in 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, to discuss the rapid and often uncontrolled growth of cities. The UN held a second meeting (Habitat II – the Conference on Human Settlements) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. This second meeting was held to assess two decades of progress since Habitat I and set new goals related to the sustainable development of communities for the new millennium. 

The Habitat III Summit, which will be held October 17–20 in Quito, Ecuador, brings together all orders of government, as well as Indigenous organizations, the private sector and civil society with a view to uniting voices in support of the sustainable communities across the globe that put citizens first.

Urban centres now represent over half of the global population, and cities are the front line for many of the global community's most pressing issues. Social inequality, climate change and poverty are challenges all orders of government must confront. Creating suitable, affordable and sustainable living spaces represents an unprecedented opportunity to ensure equality, quality of life and prosperity for citizens today and for generations to come. Issues that will be addressed at Habitat III include poverty, climate change, public safety, infrastructure and housing, health and quality of life.

Habitat III will be the first UN global summit following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the COP 21 on climate change. Habitat III's outcomes will be closely aligned with these international commitments. 

Canada's leadership at the UN Habitat III on sustainable development

Canada embraces the guiding principles set for the Habitat III Summit. These principles echo the Government's objectives for Canada. The 2016 Budget includes an ambitious plan to boost the economy, strengthen the middle class and help those who are working hard to join it.

The Summit will culminate in an international declaration, entitled the New Urban Agenda, which will aim to renew global political commitments to promote sustainable development of municipalities, cities and other human settlements in the next 20 years.

The nature of Canada's contribution in Quito will guide the country and impact all Canadians in the coming decades. That is why Canada is working hard to ensure that its goals are reflected in the New Urban Agenda. Canada is a strong voice for the promotion and protection of human rights and the advancement of democratic values. That is why we believe that people are—and should be—at the centre of the New Urban Agenda.

Canada is eager to share areas where it is showing leadership and innovation to address complex social problems, but also to hear and learn from other countries that are grappling with issues similar to our own.

Throughout the process to negotiate the New Urban Agenda, Canada strongly advocated for the following objectives:

1.    Social Inclusion and Diversity

Throughout the negotiation of the New Urban Agenda, Canada fought hard to have groups like youth, women, children, immigrants, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and members of the LGBTI community officially recognized in the New Urban Agenda. We are proud to say that most groups were included.

2.    Strengthening the Middle Class

One of Canada's key priorities is strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it. Canada believes that this is an area where countries can work together to help build and grow the middle class in order to encourage social and economic prosperity not only in our own countries, but also across the globe.

3.    Partnerships and Innovation

Our cities still face deeply entrenched social challenges. Canada recognizes that no single group or government can solve these global challenges on its own. That is why partnership and innovation are key to Canada's vision for the implementation of a New Urban Agenda. A central aspect of our collaborative approach is engaging our population on our priorities, such as developing strategies to address housing, poverty, employment, climate change and infrastructure.

The Canadian delegation to Quito

Canada wants to cultivate a positive and constructive relationship with the many stakeholders that help to develop and implement innovative solutions to urban challenges. The Canadian delegation comes from various backgrounds and is representative of Canada's diversity. The delegation includes representatives of provinces, municipalities, academia, civil society, youth and Indigenous peoples. All members share a common goal and understand that in participating in the Habitat III Summit, our country will send the important message that Canadians are committed to supporting an inclusive agenda where no one is left behind.

 

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Mathieu Filion, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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