New Urban Agenda Current Affairs - 2020

October 31: World Cities Day

The World Cities Day (WCD) is being celebrated by the United Nations to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization. It also intends to address the challenges of urbanization and to contribute to sustainable urban development around the world. It was established in 2013.

The general theme of WCD is Better City, Better Life. However, every year a different sub-theme is selected. The sub theme is in such a way to either promote the success of urbanization or address specific challenges from urbanization.

Theme: changing the world: Innovations and better life for future generations


The theme is selected to discuss how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development. It aims at implementing the New Urban Agenda.

New Urban Agenda

The New Urban Agenda was adopted in Quito, Ecuador at the UN Conference on Housing and sustainable Urban Development in 2016. The conference is also known as Habitat Conference. The Agenda set global standards for the way the cities are to be built, managed and inhabited. Also, it aims at implementing SDG 11 which deals with making human cities and towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Habitat conferences happen once in every 20 years. The habitat I was organized in Vancouver in 1976, Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996 and Habitat III in Quito in 2016.


Over half of the world population now live in cities. The number is to double by 2050. It possesses great challenges related to environment, housing, infrastructure, climate change, basic services, infrastructure, food security, jobs, education, safety and natural resources.

India elected to Executive Board of 1st UN-Habitat Assembly

India has been elected to the Executive Board of first United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) Assembly.

Key Highlights

  • The India’s election was made at the ongoing Plenary Session of Assembly which is being held at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Schedule: The first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly will be held from 27 May 2019 till 31 May 2019.
  • Task Undertaken: During the first session, Assembly will establish UN-Habitat’s Executive Board and elect its members. It will review and approve the UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and will also review Progress in implementation of New Urban Agenda.
  • Theme: The special theme for the first UN-Habitat Assembly is- ‘Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities’.
  • Significance: The election of India in Executive Board indicates that country’s global clout continues to grow significantly.

About UN–Habitat

  • It is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The establishment of UN-Habitat was an outcome of First United Nation (UN) Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development held in 1976 in Vancouver (Canada).
  • Objective: To promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns & cities with aim of providing adequate shelter for all.
  • Parent Organization: UN-Habitat reports to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). It is also a member of United Nations Development Group (UNDG).
  • The UN-Habitat derives its mandate from the Habitat Agenda.

About UN Habitat Agenda

  • It was adopted in 1996 by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul in Turkey.
  • The Habitat Agenda has twin goals of-
  1. Adequate shelter for all.
  2. Development of sustainable human settlements in today’s urbanizing world.