The General Assembly of Ministers and High Authorities of Housing and Urban Development of Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI) agreed among other things, to encourage the development of urban policy that considers the population of informal settlements and provide access to land with urban infrastructure, community facilities and sanitation to strengthen human and social capital. The agreements are part of the Santiago Declaration, MINURVI´s outcome document of the XXII General Assembly, held in Santiago de Chile, the first days of October.
Elkin Velasquez, UN-Habitat´s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean said it is very important this Member States' strong commitment with Habitat III. "It´s good to know that MINURVI and the countries of the region, supports urban development and the consolidation of sustainable cities. This is critical as we now know, with facts and evidence, that cities are the future of economic growth in the region, as well as spaces of innovation and the actual possibility of reducing inequality and poverty. "
Besides committing to the guidelines of the New Urban Agenda, the ministers of housing and urban development agreed to join efforts to work on the following four points: Develop more subsidy to rental housing in the region, work for disaster prevention in cities and resilient cities, promote processes of revitalization and urban regeneration and prepare national reports for Habitat III .
The Santiago Declaration was signed by: Lydia Mabel Martínez de Jiménez, Head of National Housing Policies (Argentina), Denis St. Elmo Kellman, Minister of Housing and Lands (Barbados), Inés da Silva Magalhães, National Secretary of Housing of the Ministry of Cities (Brazil), Rodrigo Pérez, Minister of Housing and Urbanism (Chile), Roy Barboza, Vice-Minister of Housing and Human Settlements (Costa Rica), Oris Fernández, President of the National Institute for Housing (Cuba), Harry Adam, Executive Director of the Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics (Haiti), Morais Guy, Minister of Transport Works and Housing (Jamaica), Alejandro Nieto, Undersecretary of Urban Development and Housing of the Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (Mexico), Yasmina Pimentel, Minister of Housing and Territorial Ordering (Panama), Francisco Knapps, Minister- Executive Secretary of the National Secretary of Housing and Habitat (Paraguay), Francisco Beltrame Echeverría, Minister of Housing, Territorial Ordering and Environment (Uruguay)
If you want to read the Santiago Declaration click here
Representatives of governments and international organizations in MINURVI discussed the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum, which will be in Medellin, Colombia (April 5-11, 2014). It was decided that the MINURVI´s Executive Committee will prepare a proposal regarding their participation in this event.
Beside the support, UN- Habitat proposed to create a space within the World Urban Forum VII where they can discuss issues such as housing deficit, disaster prevention and sustainable urban development and compare with international experiences.
Without defined venue, the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) entered the agenda. It was requested to the representatives to advance on national reports looking forward for preparation of these documents that will be presented in Habitat III, scheduled for 2016.
The governments represented in MINURVI commit themselves as well to working with the Secretary General for Habitat III and agencies leading the preparation of Habitat III in the region (UN-HABITAT/ROLAC and UNECLAC) to effectively move forward in the production of national reports and to support the elaboration of the regional report. We equally invite UN-HABITAT/ROLAC and ECLAC to make a value-added proposal to the technical work of MINURVI in the logic of a New Urban Agenda from Latin America towards Habitat III and towards the Sustainable Development Goals.