Newly elected President of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat and Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the international funding agencies to support programmes aimed at promoting inclusive urban development that benefits all sections of the society in the context of rapid urbanization in developing countries.
In his Presidential Address the Plenary Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya today, Naidu stressed that affordable housing, provision of other basic urban infrastructure, solid waste management, environment friendly public transport and skill development needs to be accorded priority in funding by the international agencies to enact sure inclusive development so that public spaces and opportunities in urban areas are equitably shared by all.
Stressing on the need for collective actions by the global community to take forward the New Urban Agenda adopted at Quito, Ecuador last year, Venkaiah Naidu suggested a five point strategy to improve urban governance at the local level. He suggested decentralization of decision making, devolution of functions, funds and functionaries to urban local bodies, reform of administrative and financial processes, augmenting resource collection and enhanced citizen participation for effective functioning of urban local bodies.
Stating that growing urbanization is an irreversible process, particularly, in the developing countries, M. Venkaiah Naidu stressed on the need for collective actions through effective global partnerships to take advantage of this growing urbanization to catalyse global economic growth.
Naidu further said that under the over arching philosophy of ‘Perform, Reform and Transform’ suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a process of urban renaissance has been set in motion in India under which the political and administrative leadership in urban areas is adopting new decision making, planning and execution methods.
“From a state of total neglect of urban planning and execution, urban local bodies in India are now enthusiastically obtaining credit ratings that impact a wide range of urban governance issues. This is a clear sign of urban renaissance in India” Shri Naidu asserted.
The Minister said that new urban missions like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and the measures for promoting environment friendly public transport are aimed at ensuring inclusive and sustainable urban development.
The Presidential Address of Venkaiah Naidu was appreciated by the experts and participants including Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and representatives of other member countries of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat.
Venkiah Naidu was unanimously elected as the President of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat on Monday this week.