|UN-HABITAT has formally launched its two global campaigns on secure tenure and urban governance in Cuba in a new drive to consolidate the fight against urban poverty. |
At a glittering ceremony addressed by the Mayor of Havana, Mr. Juan Contino Aslam, and representatives of UN-HABITAT and UNEP, Cuban officials cited the permanent need to keep fighting urban poverty and ensuring equal opportunities for all. The Global Campaign for Secure Tenure is designed to take forward the commitment of Governments to providing adequate shelter for all, a tenet of the Habitat Agenda and a vital element in the promotion of housing rights. The goal urban governance campaign is to contribute to the eradication of poverty through improved urban governance. Both campaigns are underway in several countries around the world.
The campaigns were launched in Cuba at the same time the agency’s Sustainable Cities Programme and Localising Agenda 21 held its 6th global meeting. The global meeting was opened by the Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy, Mr Jose Luis Rodriguez.
The mayor, Mr Aslam, was the first speaker who welcomed the approximately 200 participants to Havana, followed by the resident representative and UN coordinator in Cuba, Mr Bruno Moro.
UNEP’s opening address was given by Ricardo Sanchez, director of UNEP’s regional office in Mexico, who emphasized the need of inter agency cooperation for sustainable urbanization and development. Jorge Gavidia, the director of the UN-HABITAT’s regional office for Latin America, addressed the audience on behalf of Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka. He also read a message from the UN Secretary General.
The five-day global meeting focused on mainstreaming the environmental planning and management experiences at the local, national and global level. The main questions addressed were: What is needed in ways of mechanisms, support and changes at all levels to replicate a demonstration project to other cities; upscaling lessons learnt for wider impact to influence national policies, and how these can be linked with global issues?
The participants, came from 80 cities in 35 countries and represented a wide range of institutions, municipalities, governments and other organisations. The meeting provided them an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas on urban environment issues.
A full report will shortly be available on UN-HABITAT’s Sustainable Cities Programme and the Localising Agenda 21 web pages.
See also: Launch of the campaigns for Secure Tenure and Urban Governance