On 16 October 2016, the Habitat International Coalition (HIC) General Assembly met and finalized the collective declaration on the Habitat III process and the so-called “New Urban Agenda” outcome document. Below is the full text of HIC’s written Habitat III Statement with a link to HIC’s oral statement delivered to the Habitat III plenary by HIC-HLRN coordinator Joseph Schechla on 20 October 2016.

Habitat international Coalition (HIC)—the global movement of over 400 organizational Members working to realize the human rights to habitat, land, housing, and related rights—was formed at the great convergence at the first Habitat Conference at Vancouver in 1976. Over the past 40 years, HIC has remained inspired by, and committed to upholding the Habitat Agenda and developing it in the normative framework of human rights.

Representatives from 74 organizations - social and human rights movements, civil society and grass-roots organisations and academia, among others - coming from 26 countries and all regions convened at HIC’s General Assembly discussed the joint Statement on Habitat III on the 16th of October 2016. The statement expresses the commitment of HIC members to remain endeavored to work towards a fairer world and vigilant on any setbacks on Human Rights obligations implementation. HIC members, friends and allies are in Quito inspired and committed in the defense of a Habitat Agenda with good governance and human rights as backbone to guide and support Human rights global policies and its corresponding obligations to deal with current Habitat challenges.

HIC representative, Joseph Schechla, declared in front of the Conference Plenary that urban development need to be integrated to a comprehensive territorial perspective, since urban and rural spaces are interdependent. Moreover, it was stated in the oral statement that authoritarian ideologies of governments, mercantilisation of housing and land, private-interest driven territorial development, and governmental corruption are not being adequately addressed in the Agenda and remain the main challenges to achieve human settlements development based on human rights principles.

As discussed and decided at the HIC’s General Assembly, and declared at the HIC Statement: We need a New Habitat Agenda, not merely a new urban” agenda, one that recognizes that urbanization in its current form is not inevitable or sustainable. We need a New Habitat Agenda that respects the habitat metabolism of the physical environment in both rural and urban areas. We need a New Habitat Agenda that recognizes the continuum of human habitat experience, respecting and securing multiple forms of housing and land tenure, where partnerships prioritize people and the public interest and states support the social production of habitat. We need a New Habitat Agenda that recognizes and celebrates, not criminalizes, social movements and popular participation and enables the coproduction of knowledge, emphasizing local solutions and innovation. We aspire to live in human rights states composed of their peoples, territory and democratic institutions. In order to realize that habitat vision, our communities insist: nothing about us without us.”

Thursday, October 20 2016

Full HIC Habitat III Statement

Statement delivered by the Representative of Habitat International Coalition at the 7th plenary meeting of Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Quito, Ecuador, 17 – 20 October 2016).