Habitat III – Asia Pacific Regional Meeting

Indonesia becomes the host for Habitat III Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM). This meeting is part of a series of regional and thematic meetings for the preparation of the UN Habitat III next year in Ecuador in October 2016. Asia Pacific Regional Meeting was attended by 27 countries from Asia and Pacific Region and conducted on 21-22 October 2015 in Fairmont Convention Center, Jakarta.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Rizal Ramli was officially opened the regional meeting with several key messages about high urbanization that currently happened not only in Indonesia but also in Asia Pacific Region because more than half of the world mega cities are located in this region and it is expected that in the next decade, we will receive 700 million people living.

Opening Remarks were also given by the Executive Secretary of Unescap, Shamsad Akhtar and Secretary general of UN Habitat, Joan Clos. Shamsad Akhtar deliver five key messages from this region that should support the Habitat III preparatory process. Meanwhile, Joan Clos gave speech about the need for us to see urbanization not as problem, but solution that generate value. Therefore, we need to change mindset about urbanization and a good urbanization, according to Joan Clos, is urbanization that serves the poor.

Day one of the meeting consists six side events with wide ranging topics related to new urban agenda: stakeholder expectations and perspective, gender equality, youth eco-projects, SDGs, Young Asian voice and sustainable settlements. Side events are parallel events that give participants sense of issues around new urban agenda in Habitat III Asia Pacific Regional Meeting.

Regional Meeting day two started with country statements from Asia Pacific Region: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jepang, Bangladesh, Kiribati, Lao, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, PNG, Solomon Island, Filipina, Timor Leste and closed by Ecuador delivering message from the president about coming Habitat III event next year. Country statements basically contain key issues and challenge in each country and recommendation on new urban agenda. Statements are also coming from five majors groups: Children and Youth, Women the Global RISK Award(Huairou Commission) , Urban Planners Professional (ISOCARP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

High Level Panel Discussion Habitat III was conducted with three panelists from UN Habitat (Joan Clos), Afghan Urban Development Minister (Sadat Mansoor Naderi), and spokesman for the Land Management Ministry (Beng Hong Socheat Khemro). The three panelists agreed that there are few things to be prepared to support Habitat III such as policy and regulatory framework, mechanism for full participation and financing urbanization. According to Joan Clos all of the regulation for Habitat III should fully recognize three pillar, namely Peace, Development and Human Rights also Habitat III need to mix and balance track of values and track of knowledge and science.

sia Pacific Regional Meeting produced The Jakarta Declaration for Habitat titled “Sustainable urbanization to accelerate development”. The Declaration was delivered by Agustaviano Sofjanas the Head of Advisory Board of APRM. The Jakarta Declaration included principles and recommendations that will be used as input for coming Prepcom III meeting on April 2016 in Surabaya. The declaration will also be used as consideration for drafting the New Urban Agenda at Habitat III on October 2016 in Ecuador. Closing statement was delivered by Mr Taufik Widjoyono (Secretary General of Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing) emphasizing that urbanization should no longer be seen as a problem, but rather an opportunity to improve welfare and become center for new economic growth.

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