Nairobi, 11–15 April 2011
Item 5 of the provisional agenda*
Activities of the United Nations Human Settlements
Programme, including coordination matters
Activities of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Report of the Executive Director
1. The present report summarizes activities undertaken by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in response to the resolutions adopted by the Governing Council at its twenty-second session. It is complemented by other reports that provide more detailed and additional information on activities undertaken in response to specific resolutions. The subjects covered by these reports (and the documents in which they are discussed) are:
(a) Review of the governance structure of UN-Habitat (HSP/GC/23/5/Add.1);
(b) Fifth session of the World Urban Forum (HSP/GC/23/5/Add.2 and Add.3);
(c) Third United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development (HSP/GC/23/2/Add.4);
(d) Coordinated implementation of the guidelines on access to basic services for all and the guidelines on decentralization and strengthening of local authorities (HSP/ GC/23/2/Add.5);
(e) Joint progress report of the executive directors of UNEP and UN-Habitat: joint activities in the area of urban environment (HSP/GC/23/2/Add.6);
(f) Cooperation with agencies and organizations within the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations outside the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other Habitat partners in the implementation of the medium-term strategic and institutional plan (HSP/GC/23/2/Add.7).
Activities of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in response to resolutions adopted by the Governing Council at its twenty-second session
K. Resolution 22/11: Human settlements development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
1. In response to Governing Council resolution 22/11 of 3 April 2009, and in line with the medium-term strategic and institutional plan, a Habitat programme document (2010–2011) was developed for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and endorsed at the end of 2009 by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing together with the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development.
2. The Habitat programme document improved the focus of UN-Habitat work, complementing the support programmes of other United Nations entities and the broader international community. The document’s work programme is aligned with the State-building agenda of the Palestinian Authority, as outlined in its Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (2008–2010).
3. An internationally recruited Chief Technical Adviser was appointed in April 2010 as part of a renewed effort to strengthen management capacity on the ground of the special human settlements programme for the Palestinian people. This development has also allowed the strengthening of UN-Habitat networking with Palestinian, Israeli and international stakeholders.
4. The implementation of a self-help reconstruction project for 100 housing units in the Gaza Strip, funded by Saudi Arabia’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People, has been hampered by the absence of suitable building materials in the local market caused by the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. UN-Habitat is leading the debate on what is known as the “building back better” approach and has made self-help reconstruction the basis for its reconstruction guidelines, adopted by all housing actors in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
5. In Hebron, the construction of 100 housing units for poor women and a technical and vocational training centre, funded by the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People, is progressing well. UN-Habitat has resumed its support in housing policy, working closely with the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, the World Bank and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Department for International Development. Technical support is being provided to humanitarian actors with a view to increasing planning efficiency in the face of the housing crisis in the Israeli-controlled Area C and East Jerusalem. In addition, a key joint project is being prepared with UNDP on support for immediate and long-term strategic spatial planning for Palestinian cities, towns and villages.
6. Emergency repairs to housing units of the most vulnerable people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is taking place in East Jerusalem, targeting 45 units, with support from the Government of France.
7. The call in paragraph 3 of resolution 22/11 for support to UN-Habitat in the immediate mobilization of financial resources to support the operation of the special human settlements programme for the Palestinian people and its trust fund notwithstanding, only Bahrain has contributed ($300,000).