First details emerge on Habitat III summit in Quito

And registration is now open!

The initial shape of the upcoming United Nations summit on urbanization became clearer last week with the release of a draft programme and the opening of online registration.

The U. N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, or Habitat III, will run for from 17-20 October, a Monday through a Thursday. The weekend before, 15-16 October, will see a series of assemblies of Habitat III stakeholders — such as local authorities, children and youth, business interests and gender groups. All of this activity is intended to lead to the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, a 20-year guidelines on the future of urbanization.

[See: How is Quito preparing for Habitat III?]

The days of the official conference will be long and jam-packed, with up to five parallel sessions at a time and days starting as early as 8 am and ending as late as 8:30 pm. While the specifics of speakers and topics remain to be determined, the draft schedule lists events such as  “stakeholders roundtable”, “high-level roundtable” and “plenary session” that suggest a mix of national ministers and everyday citizens.

The registration that went online last week will continue through 1 October. To receive full access to all sessions, including official U. N. negotiations, applicants must be affiliated with a national government, local government or accredited NGO. In this case, such NGOs must have been accredited at the last Habitat conference — Habitat II, held in 1996 — must have already been accredited with the U. N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) or must have applied for special accreditation to Habitat III, a deadline that has already passed.

However, non-accredited NGOs and individuals without an institutional affiliation can still apply to attend Habitat III. They just will not have unlimited access at the conference venue.

Finally, to keep the conversation going in the run-up to Quito, there is a third and final online dialogue about the “revised zero draft” of the New Urban Agenda released in mid-June. That online will run through 7 July.

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