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Urbanisation in Africa: In Preparation for Sixteenth Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16)
21 February 2008
UN-HABITAT


Concept note

Background

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) is the coordinating agency within the United Nations System for human settlements activities. UN-HABITAT advocates change and assists Member States to introduce innovations, which strengthen the tenure security for the majority of people, especially the urban poor. UN-HABITAT's Global Campaign for Sustainable Urbanisation promotes policies, strategies and (technical) tools that will directly benefit the urban poor, particularly in Africa, Asia and South America. Land and Africa are important areas for UN-HABITAT through its work and expertise on gender, pro-poor, governance, continuum of land rights, land policies, security of tenure and forced evictions, land finances and Islamic land issues. UN-HABITAT is spearheading the global effort to improve land issues through its Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) initiative.

The UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Africa and Arabs States (ROAAS) carries out the operational work in Africa and in Arabs States. Throughout its work and within its mandate, UN-HABITAT has developed a strong expertise in several countries in the region. The requests for technical assistance and policy advisory services are testimony of the crucial role the Agency can and should play in providing to respective government and partners in Africa the required knowledge base, tools for demonstration and policy guidance for making urban land management and governance some of the critical elements for sustainable development of the Continent.

The 16th Review Session of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) will take place on 5-16th May, 2008 in New York, USA. The themes for the coming two-year cycle are Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Drought, Desertification and Africa. Preparations for the CSD cycle are now underway, through a number of Regional Implementation Meetings (RIM) to generate inputs to the UN Secretary General report on sustainable development.

The African Commission on Sustainable Development (ACSD) meeting took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22-25 October 2007. African reports and recommendations on CSD themes were made. Africa and Land features prominently in the reports and the subsequent discussions. At CSD-16 in New York (5-16th may 2008), key messages and resolutions will be taken, which will guide United Nations work on sustainable development and thus affect many African countries.

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