Finally, a Breakthrough for the New Urban Agenda

A marathon negotiation forged the compromises necessary for the New Urban Agenda to be adopted next month at the Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador.

1 minute read

September 12, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

United Nations

MISHELLA / Shutterstock

"After 38 hours of non-stop negotiations, diplomats Saturday night delivered an agreement for a new global strategy on sustainable urbanization, called the New Urban Agenda," reports Greg Scruggs.

"With the newfound consensus — which had been elusive, coming only after emergency talks were extended for an additional day — the document is likely to be adopted next month at the Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador."

According to Scruggs, two issues had to be overcome to reach the breakthrough consensus. First: "the adoption of a new paragraph in the New Urban Agenda’s contentious 'follow-up and review' section." The new paragraph clears up controversy over the role of UN-Habitat, the U.N.'s lead agency on urbanization, by recommending "an evidence-based and independent assessment of UN-Habitat," according to the agreement.  "The result of the assessment will be a report containing recommendations to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of UN-Habitat…"

Scruggs also reports details of the second breakthrough, related to "a host of complex but only marginally related points of controversy — common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), the right to development, official development assistance (ODA), unilateral economic sanctions and territories under foreign occupation."

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