Advancing the Right to the City

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and Instituto Pólis, together with other ESCR-Net Members, organized several events and interventions to advance human rights and the right to the city framework in relation to the first Preparatory Committee for UN Habitat III.

Maria Silvia Emanuelli (HIC-Latin America), Joseph Schechla (HIC-Housing and Land Rights Network), Nelson Saule Junior (Polis), and Liz Theoharis (Kairos, Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice & The Poverty Initiative) discussed the importance of human rights to Habitat III discussions, the value of the right to the city framework, and initial demands related to the UN process. The following video highlight their positions regarding the Right to the City.



HIC and Polis have been organizing a series of strategic discussions with a wide range of allies and fellow ESCR-Net Members, including CELS, Hakijamii, SERI, and Abahlali baseMjondolo, to advance a common platform related to the right to the city (see HIC’s presentation below).

HIC has already produced a number of advocacy documents in relation to Habitat III. They circulated two documents for input and endorsement at the event: Civil Society Statement for International Housing and Land Rights Day on Preparations for the Habitat III Conference and Strengthening a Global Platform for the Inclusion of the Right to the City in the Urban and Habitat Agenda.

The statement on the preparation of Habitat III has been circulated so that the organizations and friends that share its content and vision could subscribe and sign it. So far, the text has been signed by more than hundred networks, civil society movements, universities and individuals from more than 30 countries worldwide. The purpose of the massive subscription is, for example, to deliver the Statement to the UN representations in different countries as well as at national levels.

Habitat III will be the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and take place in 2016.  As part of the process, the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish a Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), to carry out consultations and preparations for the conference open to all State Members of the United Nations. The first PrepCom took place from 17-18 September 2014, United Nations Headquarters, New York City, USA; PrepCom2 will likely occur in April 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya.

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