Ernesto Gil Elorduy, President of the World Parliamentarians for Habitat, addresses the General Assembly.
Ernesto Gil Elorduy, President of the World Parliamentarians for Habitat, addresses the General Assembly during the special session devoted to habitat, June 7, 2001 in New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Special Session of the General Assembly on Habitat : Istanbul+5
6-8 June 2001, New York 


A five-year review

Five years after Habitat II, the UN General Assembly convened a special session devoted to an overall review and assessment of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. At the GA Special Session, held from 6-8 June 2001, UN Member States welcomed progress made in implementing the Habitat Agenda, and pledged to accelerate their efforts to ensure the Agenda’s full and effective implementation.

Part of the Special Session debate focused on the combination of successes and obstacles of individual countries, primarily in the developing world, in meeting the twin goals of the Habitat Agenda: adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development. The dramatic urbanization of the world’s population, and the pitfalls associated with its rapid pace, were discussed.

In the final report of the Special Session, it was noted that although Governments and their Habitat Agenda partners continued efforts to fulfil their commitments, "widespread poverty remains the core obstacle and environmental conditions need significant improvement in many countries. Critically, the majority of people living in poverty still lack legal security of tenure for their dwellings, while others lack even basic shelter. Thus, serious impediments to sustainable human settlements development still persist".

In the end, the GA Special Session renewed the commitment of Member States to the principles of adequate shelter for all, and human sustainable settlements development by adopting the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium.