UN-HABITAT is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are:
The Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements,
known as the Habitat I conference when the agency was created at the first major
United Nations conference on human settlements in Vancouver, Canada, 31 May
- 11 June 1976.
The Habitat Agenda is the
main political document that came out of the Habitat II conference in Istanbul,
Turkey 3 to 14 June 1996. Adopted by 171 countries, at what was called the City
Summit it contains over 100 commitments and 600 recommendations on human settlements
The Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements of 1996
is a reaffirmation of the Habitat Agenda agreed separately at the Habitat II
conference. It notably reaffirms the commitment of world governments to better
standards of living in larger freedom for all humankind.
Declaration on Cities and Other
Human Settlements in the New Millennium, is the United Nations General Assembly
Resolution S25.2 of 9 June 2001 reaffirming that the Istanbul Declaration and
the Habitat Agenda will remain the basic framework for sustainable human settlements
development in the years to come.
Resolution A/56/206 of 1 January
2002, is the UN General Assembly resolution in which governments strengthened
the agency by transforming the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements
(Habitat) into a fully fledged programme renamed as the United Nations Human Settlements
Programme (UN-HABITAT), under the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which
coordinates the work of all the United Nations 14 specialised agencies.