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IOM at Habitat III: United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development


Ecuador - The event, which started Monday (17/10) in Quito, Ecuador, will end tomorrow (20/10) with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by 193 UN Member States.

The Agenda aims to enable all urban inhabitants – including migrants, whether living in formal or informal settlements – to lead decent, dignified and rewarding lives. It marks the first time an intergovernmental agreement commits to action for migrants regardless of their migratory status. It also represents an opportunity to improve migration governance at the local level in a coherent and comprehensive way.

Under Agenda, UN Member States will commit to ensure full respect for human rights and humane treatment of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, regardless of their migration status.

They will further commit to supporting host cities in the spirit of international cooperation, recognizing that although the movement of large numbers of migrants into towns and cities poses a variety of challenges, migrants also make significant social, economic and cultural contributions to urban life.

Member States will also commit to strengthen synergies between international migration and development by ensuring safe, orderly and regular migration through planned and well-managed migration policies. They will pledge to support local authorities who facilitate the positive contribution of migrants to cities and strengthen urban-rural linkages.

The New Urban Agenda is the key agreement for national, sub-national and local governments to work towards sustainable development, with the support of the UN system and other relevant stakeholders.

Habitat III brings together governments, parliamentarians; civil society organizations; regional and local governments; UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations.  Also attending are professionals and academic researchers, foundations, women and youth groups and the private sector.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing participated in a High Level Roundtable: “Leave No One Behind”, organized by the Habitat III Secretariat. He highlighted the importance of the New Urban Agenda, noting that well-managed migration drives city growth and that migrants contribute to urban life.

IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also hosted a special session on migration and refugees.

Speaking at the Special Session, Ambassador Swing noted: “Migration is an integral component of the entire strategic planning and management of the New Urban Agenda. We are proud to be part of this unprecedented achievement.”

During the conference, Ambassador Swing also met with the Secretary General of Habitat III Dr. Joan Clos and the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Josep Roig.

IOM is today (19/10) hosting two side events: “Migration Toolbox for Urban Governance” with UCLG, and “Migration Management” with UN Habitat.

IOM’s “Migration Toolbox for Urban Governance” is a key consultation document. It will be presented with a set of “best practices” that showcase successful initiatives to support local level migration management. The toolbox builds on IOM’s Migration Governance Framework (MiGOF).

For further information, please contact Ioana Popp at IOM HQ, Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Or Juliana Quintero at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + 54.1132488134, Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 14:24
Habitat III convenes in Quito. Photo: IOM
IOM at Habitat III: United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development

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