As part of celebrations to mark this year’s World Habitat Day, UN-HABITAT and its partners have organized global celebrations focusing on urban safety and security in The Hague, The Netherlands, 1 - 2 October.
As part of the celebrations, a conference will bring together professionals working at all levels to address the challenges of urban safety and security in the developed and developing countries. The keynote speakers at the event will be welcomed by the host Wim Deetman, Mayor of The Hague and chairman of the United Cities and Local Governments’ Committee on City Diplomacy, and members of the Dutch government including Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and Ella Vogelaar, Dutch Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration. Mr. Jan Pronk, former Dutch minister and former Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Sudan, will chair the conference.
The main speakers at the conference will include Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Housing of the Republic of South Africa, Scott Leckie, Founder of the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions , Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza, author of the UN-Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements 2007: "Enhancing urban safety and security."
The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
The theme of this year’s World Habitat Day is “A safe city is a just city”. The United Nations chose this year’s theme in order to raise awareness and encourage reflection on the mounting threats to urban safety and social justice with a focus on urban crime and violence, forced eviction and insecurity of tenure, as well as natural and human-made disasters.