The World Habitat Day celebrations will be held at the Jomo Kenyatta Grounds in Kisumu on Monday 3 October 2011.
Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, EGH, MP, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya will present the key note address. Other high-level delegations will include: Hon. Soita Shitanda, EGH, MP. Minister for Housing; H.W. the Mayor of Kisumu, Cllr. Sam Okello, Kisumu; Hon. Shakeel Shabir; Area MP, Kisumu East; Hon. Olago Alouch, Area Mp. Kisumu West; and Alioune Badiane, Director of theRegional Technical Division, UN-HABITAT. The morning's programme will include the presentation of awards and certificates for best practices in sustainable urban development. Global Observance of World Habitat Day this year will be held in Aguascalientes in Mexico.
This year's theme, Cities and Climate Change, was chosen because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century while, at the same time, our world is becoming increasingly urban. Indeed, no-one today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time.
In an official statement, the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said: "Cities are centres of industrialization and sources of emissions, but they are also home to solutions. More and more municipalities are harnessing wind, solar and geothermal energy, contributing to green growth and improving environmental protection."
In his statement, UN Under-Secretary General and UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Joan Clos, emphasised the effects of climate change. "We already know that the impacts of climate disruption will be particularly severe in low-elevation coastal zones where many of the world's largest cities are located," he said. "And always it is the urban poor, especially slum dwellers, who are most at risk when disaster strikes. We need to stress the provision of adequate adaptation measures based on urban planning."
Other celebrations marking the day will take place in scores of cities around the world such as Tehran, Iran; and Toronto, Canada, to name a few. The world's newest country, South Sudan, will mark its first World Habitat Day as an independent state with a street procession and exhibitions on informal settlement upgrading.
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