There-positions UN-Habitat as a major global entity, a centre of excellence and innovation. In that respect, the organization is refocusing its niche position as the “thought leader” and the go-to programme for issues pertaining to its work, setting the global discourse and agenda on sustainable urban development, driving political discussion, generating specialized and cutting-edge knowledge, shaping technical norms, principles and standards, and acting as a multiplier in the exchange of knowledge, experience and best practice in getting cities and other human settlements right.
Urban areas especially cities are now home to slightly more than half of the world’s seven billion people. Current urbanization trends indicate that an additional three billion people will be living in urban areas by 2050. The Global Urban Observatory (GUO) unit is a specialized statistical unit in charge of global monitoring of the Habitat agenda and other agenda with an urban linkage, and carries out normative work such as developing the City Prosperity Initiative (CPI) and computing the CPI for selected cities.
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.