NEW DELHI: Union urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday chaired governing council meeting of UN Habitat in Nairobi saying that India’s missions including Swachh Bharat and Smart Cities are addressing infrastructure deficits including affordable housing. India has been unanimously elected to head UN-Habitat, the United Nations’ Human Settlements Programme.
The minister chaired the governing council meeting on the theme “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda” with focus on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing.
Addressing the governing council of UN-Habitat, Naidu stressed on the need to reorient urban planning and execution strategies to ensure dignity of living and sufficient means of living for people in the context of rapid urbanization, particularly, in developing countries.
The minister elaborated on the integrated, inclusive and sustainable urban development model of India through various new missions like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. He said these missions are addressing deficits in different kinds of infrastructure including affordable housing in a convergence mode.
Officials said that Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat for the next two years. Since the UN-Habitat came into being in 1978, It is only the third time that India has been elected to lead this important organization after 2007 and 1988.
As an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body, the Governing Council of UN-Habitat seeks to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among all countries on human settlement issue.
An MoUD official said that the focus is on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future and planning and financing sustainable urbanization and integrated human settlements. The New Urban Agenda was adopted by the world community at Quito, Ecuador last year.
Apart from this, Naidu will also chair the bureau meeting of the Asia-Pacific ministers’ conference on Housing and Urban Development beginning in Nairobi on Monday.