Housing Construction - Residential houses in Mexico © UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat and the Government of Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to countries in Latin America.
The agreement will help those countries to boost their capacity to design, implement, manage, monitor and evaluate programmes on sustainable urban development.
Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos and Brazilian Minister and Director of the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation, Marco Farani, signed the agreement in an official ceremony at the Earth Summit, known as Rio+20, where urban sustainability is playing a central role in the overall theme of promoting sustainable development.
In addition to direct technical assistance, the agreement commits the two partners to work to strengthen institutional capacities of selected countries at national and local levels and to develop and update knowledge sharing platforms in the field of urban development.
Speaking about the agreement, Dr. Clos said: "Long-term and realistic urban planning is needed to address the challenges faced by regions that are urbanizing rapidly such as Latin America or Africa. Strengthening technical institutional capacity is essential to ensure the longevity of those efforts. This agreement further strengthens our commitment to sustainable urban development and to South-South cooperation."
UN-Habitat already works closely in the field of urban development with the Government of Brazil. In 2010, Rio de Janeiro hosted the Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum, the world's premier conference on cities, the Sixth Session of which will take place this year in Naples, Italy in September.