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Past Conferences, Meetings and Events   >  Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II)

Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II)
(3-14 June 1996, Istanbul, Turkey)

Photo of apartment buildings in Panama City, Panama.The goals of ensuring adequate shelter for all, and making human settlements safer, healthier and more liveable, equitable, sustainable and productive were endorsed by participants at the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul in 1996. Pictured above are apartment buildings in Panama City, Panama.   UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata

The first major UN conference on human settlements was held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976.

Twenty years after the first Conference, the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The second Conference adopted the Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration, through which governments committed themselves to the goals of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements.

In 2001, the General Assembly, transformed the Commission on Human Settlements and its Secretariat into the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.

UN-HABITAT continues its predecessor's role as the focal point for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. It is charged with coordinating human settlement activities within the UN system and facilitating the global exchange of information on shelter and sustainable urban development. It also assists countries with policy and technical advice in solving their human settlement problems.

Key Documents:

Final Report

Istanbul Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium

Habitat Agenda

Sustainable Cities (2012)

Establishment of the UN Commission on Human Settlements (19 December 1977)