Ways to Strengthen Collaboration Between UN-HABITAT and Government of India Discussed
Mr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT today called on the Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Culture Kumari Selja in New Delhi. During their 40 minutes meeting, both Kumari Selja and Mr. Joan Clos discussed ways to strengthen collaboration between UN-HABITAT and the Government of India and also explored possibilities of new areas of cooperation.
Referring to the fast urbanization in India, Kumari Selja said, the Government of India has taken several initiatives to meet the challenges of the urbanization through schemes such as JNNURM and Rajiv Awas Yojana. She said, UN-HABITAT can cooperate with India with its expertise and technical knowhow in urban planning and design to plan inclusive cities. The Minister said, the UN-HABITAT and the Government of India can jointly workout the best models of urban planning in context of India.
Both sides agreed that the UN-HABITAT should have more engagement with Government of India. On its part, the Minister made a commitment to enhance the contribution from Government of India to UN-HABITAT, which currently stands at $80,000 (US Dollar) per annum.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. This apart, UN-HABITAT has been actively involved in a number of projects in India at the national, state, district and local levels. Over the years, several activities of UN-HABITAT have been organized in close collaboration with Government of India.
India is a founding member of UN-HABITAT and has been playing a leading role by actively participating in its deliberations.
The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. Since the first meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, the Forum has grown in size and stature as it travelled to Barcelona in 2004, Vancouver 2006, and Nanjing in 2008.
India has been represented by delegation led by Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister (a) as a sovereign country in the 4th WUF, (b) as chair of the 21st Governing Council of UN-Habitat; and (c) as the member of the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference for Housing and Human Development (APMCHUD)