OTTAWA, June 22, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today announced the launch of public consultations on the New Urban Agenda leading up to the United Nations (UN) Habitat III Global Summit on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be held in Quito, Ecuador, on October 17–20. In his address at a roundtable organized by the University of Ottawa, Minister Duclos took the opportunity to encourage Canadians to contribute to Habitat III and lend Canada's voice to the dialogue on the UN's New Urban Agenda.
The Government of Canada embraces the guiding principles set for the Habitat III Summit. These principles closely align with the Government's goals for Canada. Budget 2016 laid out an ambitious plan to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it.
In preparation for the Summit, the Government of Canada is launching an online consultation process to engage with stakeholders, such as provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, businesses, academics and Canadians, on some of our key challenges, opportunities and trends in urbanization, including poverty, quality of life, housing, climate change, as well as the important role in making cities and human settlements equitable, prosperous, sustainable, just, equal and safe.
In his address, Minister Duclos encouraged all Canadians to share and discuss their unique perspectives on these important issues. The views gathered through this consultation will be used to inform the Canadian delegation and bring Canada's voice and priorities to the Habitat III Summit, as well as inform subsequent Habitat III processes.
"The Government of Canada is pleased to be an active participant in the UN's Habitat III Summit and to make a meaningful contribution to the New Urban Agenda. But, to do this work, we need to hear from all Canadians about the realities we face here at home. I am eager to hear your input on strategies the Government is developing to address housing, poverty, employment, climate change and other challenges that will play a critical role in our efforts to build resilient communities here in Canada, and to bring a strong and inclusive Canadian voice to this important global conversation."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- 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 200 national governments, municipalities, the private sector and civil society to discuss the most pressing challenges and opportunities to ensure the equality, quality of life and prosperity for citizens today and for generations to come.
- The Summit will culminate in an International Declaration entitled the New Urban Agenda, which sets the agenda for the next 20 years that will reinvigorate the global political commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities and other human settlements, both rural and urban.
- Canadians are invited to participate in the online consultation, which will be open from June 22 to September 30, 2016, and to join the New Urban Agenda conversation.
UNITED NATIONS HABITAT III SUMMIT
Habitat III Summit
The Habitat III Summit, which will be held on October 17–20 in Quito, Ecuador, brings together all orders of government, as well as Indigenous organizations, the private sector and civil society from approximately 200 countries 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 the equality, quality of life and prosperity for citizens today and for generations to come. Issues addressed at Habitat III include poverty, climate change, public safety, infrastructure and housing, health and quality of life.
The Summit will culminate in an International Declaration, entitled the New Urban Agenda, which will seek to reinvigorate global political commitments and set an action plan for the sustainable development of towns, cities and human settlements over the next 20 years. A Country Report will also be delivered which will outline Canada's political recommitment to sustainable urban development.
Habitat III will be one of the first UN global summits following the adoption of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals and the COP 21 on climate change. Habitat III's outcomes will be closely aligned with these international commitments.
Engaging civil society on Habitat III
In preparation for Habitat III, the Government of Canada will engage with key stakeholders, all orders of government, as well as Indigenous organizations, businesses, academics and civil society to gather Canadian views on the key themes and issues outlined in the New Urban Agenda and to be addressed at the Habitat III.
Engagement with stakeholders on themes of the New Urban Agenda is an important component of Canada's preparation for the Summit.
Canadians can give their feedback by visiting our website.
The views gathered through this consultation will be used to inform the Canadian delegation and bring Canada's voice and priorities to the Habitat III Summit, as well as inform subsequent Habitat III processes.
History of the Habitat Summit
The United Nations (UN) convened the first Habitat Summit in 1976 in Vancouver, Canada, to gather countries together 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 to set new goals related to the sustainable development of communities for the new millennium.
The priorities set for Habitat II by participating countries included providing adequate shelter for all and ensuring the sustainability of settlements. It was found that with over a billion people living in unsatisfactory housing worldwide, housing needed to be situated in the broader context of economic, social and environmental sustainability. As a result, the conclusion of the conference saw the addition of five priorities that would guide countries policy development going forward. These additional priorities included:
- International cooperation
- Program assessment
- Enablement and participation
- Gender equality
- Financing shelter and human settlements
Habitat II saw the adoption of the Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration—a global action plan that contained over 100 commitments and 600 recommendations by world leaders from 171 countries.
Habitat III will be the third in the series of these high-level meeting.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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