Hon. Mr. Arjun Narasingha KC, Minister for Urban Development and the leader of Nepali delegation, addressed the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, today.
In his address, the Hon. Minister highlighted the commitment of the Government of Nepal to creating inclusive and sustainable cities through the implementation of Nepal’s National Report for Habitat III which was published under the theme of “Inclusive Cities: Resilient Communities” in synergy with the New Urban Agenda and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially the SDG 11. The Hon. Minister Mr. KC expressed his confidence that the effective implementation of the Report, which was prepared through a wide consultation with relevant stakeholders, will help realize the objectives of the New Urban Agenda and ultimately contribute to sustainable development of Nepal.
Referring to the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 and Ecuador earlier this year, the Hon. Minister underscored the need to pay attention to disaster resilience which needed to be considered right from planning phase incorporating the principle of build-back-better. He also added that this idea builds into the ambitious reconstruction plan of Nepal.
The Hon. Minister highlighted that the new Constitution of Nepal guarantees basic rights of housing, adding that there was progress in establishing a new urban governance structure at local, provincial and federal level. The Hon. Minister concluded by laying focus on scaling up investments in sustainable and resilient settlements and on the importance of implementing the New Urban Agenda in full coherence and perfect synergy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Hon. Minister also participated in “Urban Dignity: Equal Access to Sanitation and Hygiene in Public Spaces”, a side-event organized by Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in Quito in the afternoon today. Speaking in the event, the Hon. Minister said that the new Constitution of Nepal guarantees water and sanitation, clean and healthy environment and housing as basic rights of all Nepali people.
Yesterday evening, the Hon. Mr. KC attended a reception hosted in honour of visiting heads of delegations by HE Mr. Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador and the President of the Habitat III Conference. During the occasion, he had a brief exchange of views with President Correa and also with HE Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General.
The Hon. Minister attended the Opening Ceremony of the Habitat III held at the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana in Quito yesterday. Speaking in the Ceremony, HE Mr. Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador who chaired the Ceremony as President of the Conference; HE Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General; HE Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly; and Dr. Joan Clos, Secretary-General of the Conference each highlighted the importance of the Conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, and also shared their belief that the New Urban Agenda would deliver its promise of inclusive and sustainable human settlements. The Ceremony was attended by many Heads of State/Governments, Vice-Presidents, Ministers, and representatives of member states; heads and representatives of various United Nations organs; representatives of the civil society, private sector, business community and other city actors.
The four-day Habitat III began here yesterday and will conclude on 20 October 2016 by adopting “the New Urban Agenda” the text of which was finalized through intense intergovernmental negotiations, and its Quito Implementation Plan. The New Urban Agenda envisions sustainable, inclusive and resilient societies through the implementation of the Agenda in synergy and coherence with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Hon. Minister arrived in Quito in the evening of 16 October to lead the Nepali delegation to the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).
The full text of the New Urban Agenda which will be adopted by the UN-Habitat III during the Closing Ceremony on 20 October 2016 can be viewed at https://habitat3.org/the-new-urban-agenda/