HFH Kenya participated in the twenty third session of the governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Program(UN-HABITAT) which took place at the headquarters of UN- HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya from 11 to 15 the April 2011.
The event brought together members states of the United Nations, the UN systems organizations including specialized agencies, Habitat Agenda partners, intergovernmental organizations, local Authorities and Non Governmental organizations. The sessions included biennial meetings comprised of High –level segments and a dialogue on the theme of “Sustainable urban development through expanding equitable access to land, Housing, Basic services and infrastructure”.
The President of the Republic of Kenya H.E, Mwai Kibaki was among the prominent personalities who graced the occasion. During His speech, the President called upon all stakeholders to quickly come up with ways of addressing the growing demand for housing and more importantly for those within the lower income brackets. He added that his Government was committed to providing adequate shelter to all Kenyans and specifically targeting those living in the slums.
The forum provided an opportunity for HFH Kenya to showcase its programs, initiatives, partnerships with likeminded organizations and solutions dedicated to addressing poverty housing and developing sustainable solutions.
During the closing speech, Dr.Clos UN-HABITAT Executive Director, thanked Governments for their support and for taking the issue of housing as one of their National Development agenda. He called on Governments and institutions to adopt a new approach to urban planning to avoid congestion and emergence of slums within cities. He cited the need for energy conservation in urban mobility and the need to help cities around the globe to cope with emerging climate change problems
The Governing Council is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations and serves as the intergovernmental decision-making body of UN-Habitat. It reports to the GA through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). As the event came to a close, many in attendance described it as a success, one that equipped them with knowledge they will replicate in their countries.