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Habitat III Conference and its Preparatory Process

Title of the Session

Habitat III Conference and its Preparatory Process

 Time and Venue

15 June 2015, Al Azhar park – 2:30 pm-4:00 pm


The General Assembly, through its resolution 66/207 of December 2011, decided to convene the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in 2016. Habitat III will assess the state of our cities and propose solutions.  The purpose of the conference would be to reinvigorate commitment to sustainable urbanization through a “New Urban Agenda”. Rethinking the Urban Agenda is embracing urbanization at all levels of human settlements. More appropriate policies can embrace urbanization across physical space, bridging urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and assist governments in addressing challenges through national and local development policy frameworks. It is also integrating equity as an issue of social justice, ensuring access to the public sphere, extending opportunities and increasing the commons. The Conference welcomes the participation of all Member States and relevant stakeholders, including parliamentarians, civil society organizations, regional and local government and municipality representatives, professionals and researchers, academia, foundations, women and youth groups, trade unions, and the private sector, as well as organizations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental organizations. Habitat III will be the first UN global summit after the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and, hopefully, a new climate change agreement.

Objectives of the session

  • Provide an overview of the growing importance of cities and urbanization in the realm of sustainable development.
  • Explain and provide insightful information about the Habitat III Conference, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and its preparatory process.
  • Present the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of Egypt and other stakeholders to contribute to the Conference and the New Urban Agenda in the making.
  • Consult with civil society, private sector, academia, decision- makers and public organizations and agencies.


Dr. Sahar Attia – Head or Architecture and Urban Planning, Cairo University

Mrs. Christine Auclair – Project Leader, World Urban Campaign

Mr. Wataru Kawazaki – Secretariat of Habitat III Conference

Eng. Hussein El Gebaly – Advisor to the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development

Mrs. Shahira Walid – League of Arab States

Mrs. Katja Schaefer – Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States

Dr. Mohamed Nada – Program Manager and Advisor on Decentralization Urban Policies, Governance and Legislations Program, UN-Habitat Egypt


  • Egypt Habitat Committee representatives
  • Public central and local authorities and agencies
  • Academia
  • Civil society organizations
  • Private sector companies
  • International Organizations and Donors
  • Media

Format of the session

02:30 – 02:40

What are the objectives of the Habitat III Conference and the New Urban Agenda in the making? Who is involved in the preparatory process and how? By the Habitat III Secretariat: Mr. Wataru Kawazaki

02:40 – 02:55

How important is urban development with respect to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs)? Dr. Sahar Attia, Cairo University

02:55 – 03:05

Regional Level:

  • Habitat III Regional Report for the Arab Region (lead by UNESCWA and UN-Habitat ROAS); Katja Schaefer – UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States
  • Hosting of 1st Arab Ministerial Forum for Housing and Urban Development (AMFHUD) in December 2015 in Egypt as the key milestone event for the Arab region before Habitat III ; Mrs. Shahira Walid – League of Arab States

03:05 – 3:30

National Level:

  • Presentation of process and findings of Habitat III National Habitat Report; Hussein El Gebaly – Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development
  • Towards a New Urban Agenda in Egypt: (1) Elaboration of a National Urban Policy, including a Housing Profile as a basis for a National Housing Policy, (2) Preparation of a State of Egyptian Cities Report, focusing on setting the baseline of cities for implementation of the New Urban Agenda by applying the City Prosperity Index (CPI); Dr. Mohamed Nada – UN-Habitat Egypt Program, Mrs. Christine Auclair, World Urban Campaign

03:30 – 4:00

Discussions and Recommendations on way forward