United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon on Friday appointed UN-Habitat's Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, Secretary-General for the Habitat III summit conference at which world leaders will gather to discuss the global urban agenda.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos, during his visit to Kibera slum Nairobi, Kenya © UN-HABITAT/Julius Mwelu
The Habitat III conference, will be the third of its kind following the Habitat II summit in Istanbul, and the world's first urban summit in Vancouver in 1976 which led to the establishment the agency.
"As recommended by General Assembly resolution 66/207, it is my pleasure to appoint you as Secretary-General of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urbanization (HABITAT III)," Mr. Ban said in his letter of appointment.
The announcement comes on the eve of the sixth session of the World Urban Forum opening in Naples at which Dr. Clos will preside.
The Forum opening on Monday, is convened in a different city every two years. This year, it will discuss the theme, The urban future and follow up on recommendations such as those made at the Rio +20 meeting at which world leaders in June formally recognised the "important role" cities play in sustainable development.
They expressed the need to strengthen the Habitat Agenda and to ensure "adequate and predictable" funding for the agency at a time projections show that in little over a generation from now, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities, up from half the global population today.
Through its World Urban Campaign launched in 2010, and the new I'm a city changer drive, UN-Habitat is seeking new ways of raising awareness about global urban problems and solutions.
The Habitat III Summit will be held in 2016 in a city still to be announced. In the build-up to the summit, Dr. Clos has outlined seven key priorities for UN-Habitat: Urban planning and design; urban legislation, land and governance; the urban economy; urban basic services; housing and slum upgrading; risk reduction and rehabilitation; and urban research and capacity development.