Agencies, experts submit drafts of 22 ‘issue papers’ for New Urban Agenda

First drafts of the nearly two-dozen Habitat III “issue papers” have been submitted and made publicly available.

Together, these 22 documents will form a key technical backbone for the drafting of the New Urban Agenda, the landmark strategy that will come out of next year’s Habitat III conference.

The papers have been written collaboratively by the world’s leading multilateral development institutions, from agencies throughout the United Nations system as well as the World Bank and other expert groups. Collectively, they will offer a broad institutional perspective on the lay of the land on issues of relevance to the Habitat III process.

These issues include the typical, if highly complex, priority policies around urban areas — planning, finance, governance, transport, jobs, energy and others. But they also cover broader topics, such as migration, the environment and climate, human safety, inclusivity and culture.

In addition to backgrounding, each paper offers analysis on structural obstacles to realizing hoped-for reforms within these areas. They also make recommendations, under headings such as “Key drivers for action” or “Way forward”, for needed research and response within the Habitat III process.

The first drafts of these policy papers are only around 700 words, and sketch out the frameworks decided upon by what are often inputs from multiple lead agencies. Second drafts, due at the end of April, will be significantly expanded, to around 3,000 words. Each issue paper is to be finalized and published by June, after which they will officially opened to stakeholder discussion.

The issue papers will ultimately be used to guide discussion by 10 formal policy units, which will focus on thematic issues deemed important for the Habitat III process. Made up of independent experts, these units touch on housing, resilience, equity and other issues. Eventually, they will each provide formal input regarding the crafting and, especially, implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

More information is available here.

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