Nigeria has been accorded a seat on the Executive Board of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). This is contained in a document on the composition on the UN body’s board dated Friday, May 31, 2019.
Thirty-six in all globally, Nigeria occupies one of the 10 seats conferred on Africa, which also has Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, Angola and Malawi.
While Asia-Pacific has eight seats (occupied by Sri Lanka, Republic of Korea, China, Japan, India, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan), Eastern Europe has four (Poland, Russian Federation, Serbia and Romania), while Latin America and the Caribbean has six (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay).
Western Europe and Others however is being represented by six countries, which are: Canada, France, Sweden, Turkey, United States of America, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
In its first year, the Board is being chaired by the USA (Lori Dando), with Argentina, China and the Russian Federation as vice-chairs, and Malawi (Africa group) as Rapporteur.
Concerning the composition of the Bureau of the newly established UN-Habitat Assembly, Mexico (from the Latin America and the Caribbean Group) (Martha Delgado Peralta) is President, while Vice Presidents are from Ghana (Africa Group), Poland and Germany. China acts as Rapporteur.
Eritrea from the Africa Group is Chairperson for the biennium for the Committee of Permanent Representatives, while Vice-Chairpersons are from Bangladesh (Asia-Pacific), Serbia (Eastern European) and Costa Rica. A Rapporteur representative country from Western Europe and Others is yet to be named.
During the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly that held from May 27 to 31, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, the Assembly established the Executive Board of the UN-Habitat and elected its members, who are to review and approve the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and also review the progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, among other things.
Nigeria’s election into the UN-Habitat board appears to have raised hopes for not only revamping the somewhat inactive United Nations Habitat Programme Support Office Nigeria (UN-HAPSO) in Abuja but also the establishment of the UN-Habitat sub-regional office in the country.
At the end of the UN-Habitat Assembly, delegates adopted five resolutions covering a range of topics, including on: safer cities; capacity building for implementing the New Urban Agenda; achieving gender equality through UN-Habitat’s work to support inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements; enhancing urban rural linkages for sustainable urbanisation, and on UN- Habitat’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023. There was also a decision on arrangements for the transition to the new governance structure of UN-Habitat.
The meeting confirmed that the second session of the UN-Habitat Assembly, which will take place every four years, will be held from June 5 to 9, 2023.