The UN-HABITAT strategic vision
Urban poverty reduction strategies derive from an understanding of current
conditions and trends (e.g., urbanization, globalization, the growth
of slums and the gross inequities in urban life) and from the norms and
principles that guide the United Nations response to these conditions.
These norms and principles include, among others, sustainable urban development,
adequate shelter for all, improvement in the lives of slum dwellers,
access to safe water and sanitation, social inclusion, environmental
protection and the various human rights. With experience and understanding
also comes the recognition that urban and shelter finance mechanisms
are essential to poverty reduction and, also, that very little may be
achieved without collaborative effort as expressed in partnerships.
With these imperatives in mind and with a sharper focus on urban poverty
and, in particular, slums as the most visible manifestation of urban
poverty within the overall urbanization process, the UN-HABITAT strategic
vision has been further refined, giving more attention to knowledge management,
the financing of housing and human settlements and, particularly, to
strategic partnerships. The expanded strategic vision is both forward
looking and pragmatic, being consistent with social norms and political
principles as well as with UN-HABITAT mandates, capabilities and partners’ objectives.
Its main elements are:
- Knowledge management and reporting, expanding the global understanding
of urban development, shelter and poverty, and tracking progress in
implementing the Habitat Agenda;
- Advocacy of norms for sustainable urbanization and urban
poverty reduction, carried forward through two global campaigns and
a number of global programmes;
- Technical cooperation in linking norms and campaign/programme
goals to urban poverty reduction activities on the ground;
- Innovative financing for urbanization and specific shelter
needs of the urban poor; and
- Strategic partnerships to leverage resources and coordinate
international programme activities that work toward similar ends.