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Launching of the Global Campaign for Good Urban Governance in India Closing Session Delhi, India
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Shri Ananth Kumar, Honourable Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation,

Shrimati V.S. Ramadevi, Her Excellency Governor of Karnataka,

Shri Digvijay Singh, Honourable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh,

Mr. William C. Morogo, Minister for Roads and Public Works, Government of Kenya,

Mr. Bandari Dattatreya, Minister of State for Poverty Alleviation,

Shrimati Roshan Warjri, Honourable Minister of Urban Development, Government of Meghalaya,

Dr. Arcot Ramachandran, Former Executive Director, UNCHS,

Shri Kailash Vijaywargiya, Honourable Mayor of Indore and Chairman, All India Council of Mayors,

Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator,

Shri K. Kosal Ram, Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation

Shri SS Chattopadhyay, Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation,

Shrimati Sheela Patel, SPARC,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of Local Governments,

Honourable Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a privilege and pleasure for me to address this very distinguished gathering on the occasion of the launching of the Good Urban Governance campaign in India.


But, before I start on the substance of my address on the topic of good urban governance, I would like to congratulate the new Minister of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Honourable Minister Ananth Kumar, on his appointment. Coming so near to this important event, the change of minister was a little disconcerting for me. But I met Mr. Kumar last night and I was highly impressed by his rapid mastery of his new brief and his desire to take up the challenge of the campaign for good urban governance. Habitat has appreciated the excellent relationship we had with his predecessor Shri Jagmohan, and I have every expectation that this will be continued under tutelage of Shri Ananth Kumar. He will have all the support that Habitat can provide.

You may be asking the question, why is Habitat supporting the launch of the good urban governance campaign here in India as the first launch in Asia? One of the answers is contained in my use of the term "supporting". The Government of India and the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation have been enthusiastic, committed and proactive in their wish to promote good urban governance. Taking into account the fact that the Government of India is one of the UN's and Habitat's most valued partners, we rapidly came to the conclusion that no better ally for this launch could be wished for.

Furthermore, due to the government's decentralisation programme, which is one of the most advanced in the world, there is considerable potential for value added by the adoption and application of good urban governance principles that hold the promise of a better life for all. Moreover, there is a vibrant and vocal press supported by civil society organisations active in the urban sector, thus providing excellent opportunities for advocacy of good urban governance.

What is also important is India's prominence in the region. As the world's largest democracy, whatever happens here is noticed elsewhere. As witness to this, there are a number of guests from abroad present at this meeting wishing to learn from the experience of this launch with a view to applying it in their own countries. My visit to Mumbai on my journey to Delhi has convinced me even more that India's experience has much to teach the world in urban development and poverty reduction. The energy, imagination and commitment to the addressing the housing and governance problems of the urban poor, and particularly poor women of that city were inspiring to witness. You now see, honourable participants, ladies and gentlemen, why Habitat could not resist the temptation of nominating India to be the launching pad for the Campaign for Good Urban Governance in Asia.
The campaign being launched in India today has the overall objective of supporting government and civil-society in enriching and deepening local democracy and good urban governance, thereby promoting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, namely Adequate Shelter for All and Sustainable Human Settlements Development in an Urbanising World.

You will all recall that at the Habitat II conference that was held in Istanbul in 1996, 171 governments charged UNCHS (Habitat) to "promote human settlements management, aiming at achieving transparent, representative and accountable governance through institutional development, capacity-building and partnership".


UNCHS (Habitat) has responded to this challenge by launching two global campaigns:

the Campaign for Secure Tenure which addresses the goal of "Adequate shelter for all" and seeks to improve access to secure tenure, housing and services for the poor using a rights-based approach; and,
the Global Campaign on Urban Governance, which addresses the goal of "sustainable urban development". The Global Campaign is designed to reduce urban poverty through good urban governance as practiced by local governments throughout the world.
Good urban governance as advocated by the campaign is characterised by sustainability, subsidiarity, equity, efficiency, transparency and accountability, civic engagement, security and citizenship, which are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.Good governance will ensure that democracy becomes sustainable because it assures that democratic practices, as exemplified in the norms,become rooted in the behavior and action of governors and governed alike. The Campaign is about "hearts and minds". Habitat has become convinced that sustainable development is as much about the attitudes and norms of urban society as of the technical excellence of professionals. In particular, inclusiveness is promoted as a key social value as a part of the urban governance. This is, in my view, an essential ingredient of any strategy aimed at urban poverty reduction. Without such a value being embraced by our urban communities, the fatalistic attitude that "the poor are always with us" will prevail, and we will not achieve the needed fundamental improvement in their lot. This is why we are adopting a campaigning stance, so that we can upscale beyond the confines of conventional project and programme approaches.

Although strategic approaches of the two campaigns are different, they are linked by their common focus on urban poverty reduction. The provision of secure tenure is an essential prerequisite to effective shelter provision. Secure tenure is not attainable without transparent and equitable governance.
Our experience from around the world is that decentralized decision making and participatory processes are the best means for ensuring the effective use of scarce resources for the benefit of all but particularly the poor. In other words, inclusive democratic processes produce inclusive cities.


International recognition of the validity of this conceptual linkage was reaffirmed in the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, approved at the Special Assembly of the United Nations held in New York in June this year to review progress on the Habitat Agenda. The Declaration states: "We resolve to intensify efforts for ensuring transparent, responsible, accountable, just, effective and efficient governance of cities and other human settlements. We recognise that good governance within each country and at the international level is essential to addressing the challenge of urban poverty." The Declaration adds "cities need specific approaches and methodologies to improve governance".
This launch is the beginning of a long term undertaking to deliver the Habitat Agenda in India through good urban governance. But the sort of good urban governance that India needs must be based on the "specific approaches" referred to in the Declaration. The Campaign does not have a "one size fits all" philosophy. Although the principles of the campaign have a global validity, each country has its own culture, history and priorities that will determine the special character of each national campaign. It is for this reason I attach high priority to the final day of this event when a national plan of action is debated and agreed. This plan must represent a consensus between all the stakeholders in good urban governance - national and local government, civil society groups, the private sector.


The Indian identity and ownership of this national plan of action | is essential because ultimately the campaign will only bear fruit if key actors are motivated to be proactive in support of the campaign. Good urban governance does not come about by accident - it is achieved because there is a conscious common will, evidenced by people's participation at all levels to achieve a common vision. I hope this launch event will galvanise these preconditions for success.


It therefore gratifies me very much to see that this launch is as inclusive as it could have been. Practically all sections of Indian society are here today. It convinces me that the participatory approach that lies at the heart of good governance has found acceptance and endorsement by the various stakeholders. It is my hope therefore, that the key elements of the action plan to follow up this launch will be agreed at this workshop so that we can all move quickly into implementation. On Habitat's part, to make sure that the momentum, energy and synergy created here do not slacken, our Urban Management Programme office here in Delhi, which has been instrumental in organising this launch, will continue to be available to support and advise campaign partners. The Urban Management Programme, which is shortly to enter its fourth phase, is the world's largest technical assistance programme in urban management, and is available to offer informed support and advice on urban governance issues based on practical experience from around the world.

I am also pleased to note that an excellent partnership is developing with UNDP to pursue the good governance agenda. As you may know one of the two priority areas of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for India is decentralisation, and discussions have already commenced concerning the application of participatory governance tools developed by Habitat in a number of states as a strengthening of the UN's decentralisation support. I also hope that selected componentss of the national action plan can be supported through this channel.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

let me point out that Habitat has a long working relationship with India. Allow me to enumerate our activities in India, to assure you that we are no strangers in this country, and that, through our support of your governance campaign we will consolidate and better coordinate our activities for improved performance and effectiveness.

I have mentioned previously that Habitat also supports the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure. This was launched in India in Mumbai in June 2000 with the support of all three levels of government and the event was attended by over 3,000 slum dwellers. The National Slum Dwellers Federation was nominated as the focal point of the campaign. The campaign has been successful in advocating for secure tenure, legitimising the aspirations of slum dwellers, providing a focal point of consensus for the many stakeholders engaged in improving the living conditions of the poor, and assisting in generating additional resources for the sector. Discussions will be held with the Government during my visit about additional resource mobilisation from the Cities Alliance (of which more later) to support the campaign.


The Sustainable Cities Programme started in 1995 in Chennai, through the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority of the Tamil Nadu State Government. The programme has been successful in solid waste management, improving traffic and air quality management, and cleaning city waterways. As the result of this success a national replication process is underway. Habitat is providing technical assistance through implementation of the Environmental Planning and Management process. The process embodies the principles of participatory urban governance in a very practical way by involving local authorities, key stakeholders and the public in general in defining and addressing the priority environmental issues.


The Urban Management Programme, which I have already mentioned has its South Asia Regional Advisor's office in New Delhi in the premises of its sub-regional partner, the All India Institute of Local Self Government. UMP activities, which are based on the principles of participatory urban governance, have been undertaken in Bangalore, Surat, Mumbai, Nagpur and Hyderabad, in the latter in partnership with the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Programme.


Habitat has together with the Government of India and HUDCO undertaken pilot projects in Lucknow, Rajkot and Visakhapatnam in community approaches to integrated basic services to promote health and livelihood for the urban poor. The successful piloting of the community approach, which - in line with the principles of good urban governance - entails responding to the priorities of stakeholders and engaging their energies and ideas in developing and implementing solutions, has led to discussions about upscaling the experience to other cities in India.


Habitat has produced series of highly regarded local leadership and management training manuals for local government officials. These are currently being translated into Hindi in association with the Human Settlement Management Institute associated with
HUDCO here in Delhi.

As you can see from many of the above project descriptions, Habitat projects and programmes, which have all been based on the good urban governance principle of participatory and people-centred approaches have led to sustainable improvement in the basic services of shelter, water, sanitation and environment. Good governance at any level, aims at delivering basic needs to its people as quickly as is practicable. My belief is that good urban governance does not slow down the process of urban service provision through over-extended discussion and dialogue as many believe, but efficiently and effectively delivers sustainable and equitable urban development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to take this occasion to mention one other matter. At the Millennium Summit held in New York late last year the Millennium Declaration was adopted. The highlights of the declaration include: elimination of poverty, protection of the environment; making cities safer and liveable. The UNCHS as the focal point for shelter delivery in the UN system, has risen to the challenge of implementing the Millenium Declaration's "Cities Without Slums" vision. It has therefore established The Cities Alliance, which is a joint initiative of Habitat and theWorld Bank together with other development partners. Its purpose is to assist developing countries to access resources to upgrade their urban living environment. Habita has the expertise but not the resources, hence the cooperation with the World Bank. It is very much to be hoped that we will be able to undertake a powerful slum pgrading initiative under the auspices of the Cities Alliance here in India. The theme for the World Habitat Day this year is precisely the challenge of Cities Without Slums. I encourage you to use this event on 1 October this year to promote this vision.

Habitat has produced series of highly regard leadership and management training man local government officials. These are currently being translated into Hindi in association with the Human Settlement Management Institute associated with
HUDCO here in Delhi.

As you can see from many of the above project descriptions, Habitat projects and programmes, which have all been based on the good urban governance principle of participatory and people-centred approaches have led to sustainable improvement in the basic services of shelter, water, sanitation and environment. Good governance at any level, aims at delivering basic needs to its people as quickly as is practicable. My belief is that good urban governance does not slow down the process of urban service provision through over-extended discussion and dialogue as many believe, but efficiently and effectively delivers sustainable and equitable urban development.


Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to take this occasion to mention one other matter. At the Millennium Summit held in New York late last year the Millennium Declaration was adopted. The highlights of the declaration include: elimination of poverty, protection of the

UNCHS as the focal point for shelter delivery in the UN system, has risen to the challenge of implementing the Millennium Declaration's "Cities Without Slums" vision. It has therefore established The Cities Alliance, which is a joint initiative of Habitat and the World Bank together with other development partners. Its purpose is to assist developing countries to access resources to upgrade their urban living environment. Habitat has the expertise but not the resources, hence the cooperation with the World Bank. It is very much to be hoped that we will be able to undertake a powerful slum upgrading initiative under the auspices of the Cities Alliance here in India. The theme for the World Habitat Day this year is precisely the challenge of Cities Without Slums. I encourage you to use this event on 1 October this year to promote this vision.

The importance of action cannot be underestimated. Habitat believes that through good urban governance we should not only tackle the manifestations, but the underlying and fundamental causes of urban problems. The pace of growth of large urban areas is perceived as a threat to orderly, democratic, equitable and prosperous society. This challenge therefore has not only an urban but also a rural dimension insofar as unbalanced migration flows destabilise both rural and urban fabrics. It is important that local governments in all human settlements - including those in the smaller human settlements serving rural areas - incorporate good governance principles into their activities. By this means rural dwellers will have local authorities that are more responsive to their needs and priorities and thus more successful people-orineted development is likely to result. This is an example of one important approach to understanding rural-urban linkages and dynamics, which can be a part of the adoption of an integrated approach to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. In this context, Habitat promotes policies that fight squatting, but not squatters.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today's programme is the result of joint collaboration with a range of national institutions and organisations - and I wish to make particular mention here of the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation - which worked tirelessly through a Steering Committee and a Workshop Coordination Group to pull us all together here for this launch. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those involved and to appreciate other countries from Asia and also the rest of the world that have sent delegates to this launch.

I also recognize members of the global and regional steering groups for the Global Campaign on Urban Governance here today and wish to thank you all for partnering with us in this endeavour.

I call on all campaign partners present here to give full support to the Plan of Action and to use their own energies and resources to advocate for good urban governance.

Your Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlement I wish you successful deliberations and pledge both my institutional and personal support and commitment.

I thank you for your attention.

 
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