RESOLUTION SDC 221

FORUM: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

QUESTION OF: Measure to improve the housing condition of the population living in slums or informal settlements

SUBMITTED BY: Lao PDR

CO-SUBMITTERS:Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Bolivia, Cuba, Chile, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Liberia, India, Qatar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Sri Lanka.

STATUSApproved

THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE,

Acknowledging that access to adequate housing is a human right

Recalling that the United Nations’ (UN) five characteristics of defining a slum are: inadequate access to water, sanitation and infrastructure as well as overcrowding, insecure residential status, and a poor structural quality of housing, 

Fully alarmed  that the number of people living in slums has risen by 23.5 percent (828 million people) worldwide in 2018 as a result of population growth and urbanization surpassing the construction of new affordable homes, 

Reaffirming the importance of Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums by 2030”,

Noting that inadequate housing negatively impacts urban inclusion, safety, and equity as well as livelihood opportunities, and also possibly resulting in bad health, 

Further noting that slum upgrading will grant access to improved housing and will contribute to diminishing social inequalities and inspire many developing countries to be driven towards creating sustainable urbanization, 

Expressing its satisfaction of past attempts made in an effort to sustain stable urban development such as the UN’s General Assembly Resolution 70/1 which was “The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aiming towards helping Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) with suppressing the repercussions of rapid urbanization,”

Underlining the importance of Less Developed Countries (LDCs) in the fight for sustainable development, and reminding that 90% of population growth by 2050 (estimated at 2.5 billion) comes from Asia and Africa,

Highlighting the significant role of cities in the economy as they generate around 80% of countries gross domestic product (GDP), 

Expecting all member states and parties to take measures towards developing sustainable, yet climate-friendly, initiatives targeting the issue of improving the housing conditions for the population living in slums, therefore also keeping parallel with the recommendations and aims of the Paris Accords,

  1. Calls for all member states to provide access to inclusive, sustainable, and adequate housing for all, as well as urging all member states to actively work on improving the living conditions in existing slums focusing on legitimizing slums through means such as, but not limited to:
    1. achieving organized urbanization to help better accommodate new and current residents by means such as sustainably planning rural and urban development
    2. working more closely with the UN-habitat to help achieve adequate shelter for all slum residents by means such as, but not limited to: 
      1. creating and realizing progressive housing sector reforms and laws that contribute to the formulation of environmentally friendly and adequate housing
      2. providing a review and analysis of policy implications needed to achieve the right to adequate housing for all
      3. redeveloping the land by replacing slum shelters with multistory buildings
    3. ensuring the new housing that is being built is affordable while also meeting the required standards stated by the UN
    4. encouraging member states  to work with organizations that will help them meet UN requirements, and in case of failure of this, the UN will provide their support;
  2. Invites all member states to improve job markets in slums and informal settlements through means such as, but not limited to: 
    1. equipping slum residents who wish to establish a business or company with microfinance which will ensure they can securely take out small loans through the help of organizations such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as:
      1. ensuring slum inhabitants receive aid in setting up bank accounts to be able to set up a business through organizations such as M-Pesa
      2. providing guidance throughout the entire process
      3. decreasing business taxes for new companies entering the market which would create new jobs and allow the companies to grow
    2. launching projects with aid from the United Nations Human Rights Program (UNHRP) to devise additional jobs for slum inhabitants that would ameliorate their standard of life such as educators, doctors, and counselors who collaborate with pre-existing organizations such as, but not limited to, Doctors Without Borders, Teachers Without Borders, and Therapists Without Borders
    3. providing slum inhabitants with practical job training and educational programs so they can be better suited to work by organizations such as UN-Habitat and to aid in the reduction of structural, seasonal, and cyclical unemployment and initiate further job options for job sectors that are conducted more feasibly in these rural and underpopulated areas through means such as, but not limited to:
      1. encouraging the trading of domestically produced goods over imported ones, in an effort to sustain populations around rural areas producing local goods
      2. establishing further infrastructural facilities which will inevitably result in further job options around rural areas such as farming
    4. ensuring women can work by providing them with child care and establishing child care centers which would also provide more job opportunities for slum residents such as volunteering opportunities which would be available at these centers for slum dwellers, as well as people outside of the slums such as college students
    5. improving information, making it easier for people to find a job through ways such as but not limited to creating an online outlet, if one does not already exist, that would allow for easier sharing of information for both the employer and potential employee;
  3. Strongly urges the member states and parties to refurbish their current infrastructural properties in an effort to modify them to improve conditions in and around slums that through means such as, but not limited to: 
    1. renovating already existing roads and transportation devices in areas of terrestrial and on-water transportation on top of constructing new commuting routes in order to eliminate any traffic issues caused by rapid urbanization in a sustainable way by using:
      1. recycled materials such as, but not limited to, reusable containers
      2. pre-made housing, usually cheaper than new infrastructure
    2. requesting funding to assist in the aforementioned refurbishment from: 
      1. regional government institutions on urban planning and infrastructure
      2. the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (the IMF), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
    3. improving healthcare services in these countries in an effort to eliminate any sort of healthcare crisis or disease outbreaks from occurring due to the poor conditions in slums by installing medical checkpoints and integrating medical volunteering programs through the collaboration of regional governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) to: 
      1. sustain sufficient and affordable healthcare for the recently established enlarged populations of these slums and informal settlements
      2. aid with basic healthcare necessities of citizens according to the UN General Assembly Resolution 67/81 regarding global health and foreign policy
      3. install a monthly research group to investigate issues regarding national health such as possible disease outbreaks and citizen satisfaction of newly established healthcare programs
      4. provide slum inhabitants with access to free birth control, feminine hygiene products such as menstrual cups, and STD-protection at local health centers
      5. give youth access to sexual education through government-funded programs
      6. motivate parents and guardians to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases by means of: establishing health centers funded by the World Bank in different areas within the slums where essential medicine and care will be available at low cost, and providing children with free vaccines in the aforementioned clinics; 
  4. Asks the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to initiate the establishment of a new UN-affiliated organization to be called the United Nations Institute of Global Housing (UNIGH) in collaboration with the UNHRP in an effort to aid and monitor the proliferation of slums and informal settlements around the world through means such as, but not limited to: 
    1. accumulating funds through charity events by World Health Organisation (WHO) and fundraisers to later donate and contribute to countries suffering profoundly from slums and informal settlements which would work closely with construction companies and governments of these areas to help build more adequate and affordable housing for slum dwellers instead of focusing on relocation
    2. raising consciousness about the issue of slums and inadequate housing around the world through means such as, but not limited to: 
      1. information leaflets
      2. advertisements (through radio)
      3. educational campaigns in schools around the world;
  5. Calls for the establishment of an annual summit called the United Nations Accommodation Summit (UNAS) to raise awareness about the issue of slums and informal settlements and how to refurbish and improve the conditions of infrastructural properties relating to the aforementioned issue in order to suit larger populations of people living in slums, that would be authorized to file an annual report concerning the aforementioned issues, and on the discussion topics of that year’s summit working towards improving and eradicating slums, to be reviewed by independent NGOs taking the role of unbiased observers;
  6. Urges the strengthening of law enforcement in slums and informal settlements that suffer from the repercussions of rapid and unplanned urbanization in an effort to reduce overall crime rates in these areas by means such as, but not limited to:
    1. grant residents of slums with housing tenure
    2. establish law enforcement outposts surrounding slums which will be tasked with: 
      1. responding to emergencies of violence and chaos
      2. reinforcing local law enforcement facilities if necessary
      3. monitoring the flux of civilians into and out of these large cities;
  7. Seeks member states and parties to increase access to food and water in slums and informal settlements by optimizing the capture, storage, distribution, and management of water, by means such as, but not limited to: 
    1. constructing facilities for the decentralized retention and collection of rain and storm water, improving water capture, and reducing the risk of flooding in the case of heavy precipitation in order to reduce the waste of potable water by collecting and utilizing rain and storm water (“grey water”) for use outside of human consumption, like gardening
    2. focusing on working together with companies that provide specific technology that would make access to food and safe water easier by means of, but not limited to: 
      1. working together with the companies like Vastergaard to provide slum residents access to Lifestraws which instantly filter out bacteria or microbiological water filter with built-in storage containers for community use
      2. working with companies to aid in the distribution and usage of food and water resources in slums, in order to suit larger populations of people living in slums.