The report addresses the failure within the UN system to adequately acknowledge the fundamental role played in urban development by local governments and local actors and includes this among the challenges that have prevented UN-Habitat and the wider UN system to respond effectively to a rapid global change.
As a result, the Panel recommends the establishment of ´UN Urban´, an independent coordinating mechanism – similar to UN-Water or UN-Energy – to convene all UN agencies and partners on urban sustainability. This procedure is expected to also acknowledge the urban implications of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and New Urban Agenda.
In response to the challenges, the Panel also stressed the need for a transformed governance structure of UN Habitat that includes the formal involvement of local authorities/subnational governments to provide input and recommendations, as well as stronger and more inclusive partnerships generally with representative organizations of local governments and excluded urban groups.
The Secretary-General welcomed these recommendations and agreed that the agency must be equipped with a flexible, efficient structure that delivers for the most vulnerable residents of the world’s cities.
Moreover, the panel´s Report will also serve as an input to the High-Level Meeting on New Urban Agenda and UN-Habitat, convened by the UN General Assembly on 5-6 September 2017 in order to maintain momentum around the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and to reflect on the positioning of UN-Habitat in that regard.