India to chair UN's human settlement mission UN-Habitat

India has been unanimously elected president of the UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations (UN) that promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world.

India is heading the organisation after a gap of 10 years. India has been elected to lead this important organisation after 2007 and 1988.

Set up in 1978, UN-Habitat reports to the United Nations General Assembly.

India's minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu is chairing the four-day meeting of the 58-member governing council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya that began today.

Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the governing council of UN-Habitat for the next two years.

As an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body, the governing council of UN-Habitat seeks to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among all countries on human settlement issue.

The theme of the 26th meeting of the governing council being chaired by Naidu is ''Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda,'' with focus on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future and planning and financing sustainable urbanisation and integrated human settlements.

The New Urban Agenda was adopted by the world community at Quito, Ecuador last year.

Venakiah Naidu will also chair the bureau meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers' Conference on Housing and Urban Development beginning in Nairobi today.

Naidu thanked member countries of the governing council of UN-Habitat for reposing faith in India and electing the country as the president of the governing council for the next two years.

Addressing the governing council of UN-Habitat, Naidu stressed on the need to reorient urban planning and execution strategies to ensure dignity of living and sufficient means of living for people in the context of rapid urbanisation, particularly, in developing countries.

Naidu elaborated on the integrated, inclusive and sustainable urban development model of India through various new missions like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. He said these missions are addressing deficits in different kinds of infrastructure, including affordable housing in a convergence mode.