|Catholic Charities USA|
|Ms. Leilani Farha (UN Special Rapporteur On Adequate Housing)|
Bearing in mind the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its pledge that no one will be left behind, the event will address challenges faced to provide adequate spaces and housing for all to live with dignity and to promote inclusive, fair and equitable cities for all. In this regard, the Human Rights Framework offers a valuable contribution to the current debate on designing, developing and implementing “userfriendly” public spaces and adequate housing standards for its citizens. When meeting the human rights standards of accessibility, affordability, habitability, availability and quality of public and living spaces, municipalities and local governments are able to ensure to its citizens the full enjoyment of their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. In her 2015 Annual Report to the UN General Assembly (A/70/270), the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing presented key reflections and recommendations on the centrality of the right to adequate housing that have contributed to the shaping of the “New Urban Agenda” from a human rights perspective. The report identifies five key priorities: 1) Social exclusion: stigmatization in the field of housing 2) Migration 3) Vulnerable groups 4) Land and inequality 5) Informal settlements. The report emphasises the importance to connect the New Urban Agenda to the Human Rights Framework to promote urban and housing models based on people’s needs and dignity The human right to the city, to adequate housing should be the heart of the New Urban Agenda. It is essential to rethinking cities and housing through a holistic approach that promotes social justice, integral human development, full enjoyment of human rights, participation and inclusion of all citizens – local authorities and communities, especially marginalised and vulnerable groups, including indigenous people.