, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to address his first international gathering on Monday when he opens the United Nations Habitat’s 24th Governing Council meeting in Gigiri.
The Governing Council is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly and serves as the inter-governmental decision making body of UN-HABITAT.
It reports to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Kenyatta was sworn into office last Tuesday after the Supreme Court upheld his victory during the March 4 elections.
The Presidential Press Service (PPS) said President Kenyatta is scheduled to arrive in Gigiri at 10am.
“On arrival, the president will be received by the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme Joan Clos, the Director General of United Nations Office, Nairobi Sahle-Work Zewde and Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure who is also the President of the Governing Council, Albert Nsengiyumva.” the PPS statement indicated.
The 2013 Habitat Governing Council will focus on sustainable urban development with a special attention given to expanding economic opportunities for women and Youth.
This year’s Governing Council meeting will devote significant attention to Rio+20 outcomes and the post 2015 development framework.
The week-long meeting will discuss critical topics like slums and provision of basic services including water, sanitation, shelter and health.
The Governing Council is composed of 58 members who are elected by the ECOSOC for a term of four years divided along regional lines as follows: Africa, Asia and Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean States and Western Europe and other States.
At the commencement of the first meeting of each regular session, the Governing Council elects a President, three vice Presidents and Rapporteur.
These officers constitute the Bureau of the Governing Council whose function is to assist the President in the conduct of the business of the Governing Council.
The UN-HABITAT contends that at the beginning of 21st century, 50 percent of global population lived in cities and if the trend continues, the figure could hit 70 percent by 2050.
Developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have witnessed the fastest growth of cities in the last decade.
Executive Director Joan Clos noted that cities are epicentres of economic, social and political renewal and countries must establish policy and legal tools to ensure rural to urban migration is regulated and properly coordinated.
“There is need to develop national urban policies to ensure growth of cities does not harm livelihood and the natural environment. Urbanization should have positive outcomes to the population,” Clos said.