- Recognising principles that are both universal and essential for cities, we are introducing our new urban approachto promote sustainable cities, tailored to each local context, working with households and local partners.
- Secondly, Habitat for Humanity has launched a global advocacy campaign called Solid Ground, to improve awareness and systems to help 10 million more people secure access to land for shelter by 2020.
- Thirdly, noting the role that markets play in housing, Habitat for Humanity has established the Terwilliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter. The centre will facilitate better-functioning, more inclusive markets enabling 8 million more people to access improved shelter by 2020.
- Finally, through a wide array of approaches, partnerships and knowledge sharing initiatives, Habitat for Humanity will improve housing affordability and access for nearly 40 million people by 2020, and for 200 million people by 2036.
Habitat for Humanity New Zealand received a big recognition when CEO, Claire Szabó was invited to represent Habitat for Humanity International as part of a delegation to the twenty-sixth session of the Governing Council (GC) of UN-Habitat. Held on 8th – 12th May at the United Nations (UN) Offices in Nairobi, Kenya, this important session followed the adoption of the New Urban Agenda. This ground-breaking document was approved at Habitat III, the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. This governing council session centred around discussions on how the New Urban Agenda would be monitored and implemented through partnerships with UN-Habitat, governments, NGOs and Civil Society. Habitat for Humanity International played an important role in the drafting of the New Urban Agenda. Habitat for Humanity New Zealand participation was acknowledgement of their work in the Pacific – most notably in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. This opportunity placed Pacific housing issues on the global stage. It also drew attention to Habitat for Humanity’s innovative responses to housing need for those on lower incomes, particularly regarding the effects of climate change. Despite the New Zealand government not sending representatives to this event, nor the Habitat III conference last year, Habitat considers this an important initiative to be involved with. The New Urban Agenda ensures that issues of adequate and affordable housing are given priority within the Sustainable Development Goals. Global discussions of best practice urban planning and programs for inclusive, sustainable cities play a significant role in ensuring that everyone has a decent place to live – both in New Zealand and overseas. Below is the address given by Claire at the high-level panel discussion session. Mr President, Mr Moderator, Esteemed guests Malo e le lei, Talofa lava, Ni San Bula Vinaka, Kia orana, Tena Koutou katoa, South Pacific Greetings. My name is Claire Szabo, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New Zealand, and I speak today on behalf of the Habitat for Humanity global network. May I express my thanks to the people of Kenya for their hospitality hosting this event. Habitat for Humanity welcomes the chance to speak at UN-Habitat’s 26th Governing Council meeting in this high-level dialogue session addressing Housing at the Centre of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Many of you will know our non-government organisation for its practical work over the last four decades building simple, decent homes in more than 70 of your countries. In the lead up to last year’s Habitat III meetings in Quito, we worked representing Civil Society Organisations within the General Assembly of Partners and in the World Urban Campaign, we worked with National delegations, and the Global Land Tool Network, for a systemic focus on housing, community participation and land tenure access, especially for the world’s poor. We are pleased with the final outcome document, the New Urban Agenda, and salute its recognition of decent housing, not only to achieve an adequate standard of living for households, but as an integrated platform improving our cities. The New Urban Agenda however, will only be as good as its implementation. To this end, Habitat for Humanity has announced 4 commitments to implementing the New Urban Agenda