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Seventy-fourth Session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Housing and Land Management and its Ministerial Meeting

7-9 October 2013 | Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Highlights for Tuesday, 8 October 2013

UNECEThe UN Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) Committee on Housing and Land Management (CHLM) held a ministerial session on Tuesday, 8 October at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the third CHLM ministerial session, with others held in 2000 and 2006.

Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary, urged participants to bear in mind three goals for the ministerial: taking stock of progress made in developing sustainable housing and land management systems; learning about member state needs as they confront current and future challenges; and agreeing on a strategy to meet the identified needs. He also highlighted the proposal to negotiate a framework convention on sustainable housing and how it could help address key housing issues in the region.

In the morning, during a session co-chaired by Navarsete Liv Signe, Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Norway, and Frantisek Palko, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia, participants heard presentations from 20 ministers and other high-level officials on their national challenges and priorities in housing, including energy efficiency, climate and disaster resilience, affordability, informal settlements, adaptation of housing for an aging population and provision of housing for refugees.

In the afternoon, during sessions reviewing progress made and future challenges in land management and urban development, co-chaired by Rafig Jalilov, Deputy Chair, State Committee on Property Issues, Azerbaijan, and Marko Canovic, Vice Minister for Tourism and Environmental Protection, participants heard presentations from 12 ministers and other high level officials on their national concerns. Among the issues highlighted were transforming land registry and cadastral systems, spatial planning, improving transparency, ensuring ownership rights, and addressing urban sprawl.

CHLM Secretary Gulnara Roll presented the draft UNECE Strategy on Sustainable Housing and Land Management 2014-2020, its organization, 15 objectives and its four themes of: sustainable housing and real estate markets; sustainable urban development; sustainable land administration and management; and cross-cutting themes. The ministerial formally adopted the Strategy.

CHLM Chair Wolfgang Förster thanked ministers for their overview of the challenges they face and their national priorities, and assured them of the CHLM’s readiness to deliver the expertise and guidelines member states need to address the challenges and realize the objectives of the Strategy.

Virginia Cram-Martos, Director, UNECE Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division, congratulated Chair Förster and commended the ministers for adopting the Strategy, stressing how helpful it will be to the Secretariat in addressing the needs and priorities of member states in housing, land management and urban development.

The ministerial session closed at 4:30pm.

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Participants of the Ministerial Session
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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Morning Session
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From L-R: Virginia Cram-Martos, Director, Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division, UNECE; Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE; Wolfgang Förster, Chair, UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management (CHLM); Frantisek Palko, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia; Liv Signe Navarsete, Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Norway; Gulnara Roll, Secretary, CHLM
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Wolfgang Förster, Chair, CHLM
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Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE
Liv Signe Navarsete, Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Norway
Michael Farrugia, Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Prime Minister, Malta
Samvel Tadevosyan, Minister of Urban Development, Armenia
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Marko Canovic, Vice-Minister for Tourism and Environmental Protection, Montenegro
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Terence Dunne, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Ireland
Frantisek Palko, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia
Ernst Hauri, Director, Federal Office for Housing, Switzerland
Daiva Matoniene, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Environment, Lithuania
Jouni Parkkonen, Special Advisor to Minister of Environment, Finland
Anatolie Zolotcov, Vice Minister of Regional Development and Construction, Moldova
Abuvali Komilov, Director, Agency of Construction and Architecture, Tajikistan
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Ambassador Roderick Van Schreven, the Netherlands
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Alena Rakava, Ministry of Architecture and Construction, Belarus
Yuri Osipov, Advisor to Minister for Regional Development, Russian Federation
Sylvain Labbé, CEO, Quebec Wood Export Bureau
Ambassador Filoretta Kodra, Albania
Tania Berg Rafaeli, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations Office and other international organizations
Natalia Oliinyk, Director for Reformation Strategy and Communal Services Development, Ministry of Regional Development, Ukraine
Borka Bobovec, Head of Sector, Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, Croatia
Afternoon Session
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From L-R: Virginia Cram-Martos, Director, Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division, UNECE; David Jandieri, First Deputy Minister of Justice, Georgia; Marko Canovic, Deputy Chair, Vice Minister for Tourism and Environmental Protection, Montenegro; Rafig Jalilov, Deputy Chair, State Committee on Property Issues, Chairman of State Committee on Property Issues, Azerbaijan; Gulnara Roll, Secretary, CHLM
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Roger Ekman, Senior Advisor, Lantmäteriet, Sweden
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Erlan Saparbaev, Head, State Registration Service, Kyrgyzstan
Marko Canovic, Vice Minister for Tourism and Environmental Protection, Montenegro
Rafig Jalilov, Deputy Chair, State Committee on Property Issues, Azerbaijan
David Jandieri, First Deputy Minister of Justice, Georgia
Ed Lester, Chief Executive, Her Majesty's Land Registry of England and Wales, United Kingdom
Miguel de Castro Neto, Secretary of State of Spatial Planning and Nature Conservation, Portugal
Peter Creuzer, Director, State Survey and Geospatial Information, Germany
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Siim Kiisler, Minister for Regional Affairs, Estonia
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Tanja Bogataj, Director General, Spatial Planning Directorate, Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
Emmy Galama-Rommerts, International Council of Women
Desislava Terzieva, Minister of Regional Development, Bulgaria
Daniel Braun, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Republic
Participants Networking
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Around the Venue
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Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Related Links
Meeting resources

*Meeting website and documents

*Annotated provisional agenda for the Session (including Ministerial Meeting)

*Draft Strategy for Sustainable Housing and Land Management in the ECE region for the period 2014-2020


General resources

*Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUD-Net)

*UN-HABITAT/UNEP Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP)

*UN-HABITAT’s Cities in Climate Change Initiative

*UN-HABITAT website


IISD RS resources

*IISD RS coverage of the Twenty-third Session of the Governing Council of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT GC-23), 11-15 April 2011, UN Office, Nairobi, Kenya

*IISD RS coverage of the Seventh-first Session of the UNECE’s Committee on Housing and Land Management, 20-21 September 2010, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

*IISD RS coverage of the Seventieth Session of the UNECE’s Committee on Housing and Land Management (CHLM), 23-25 September 2009, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

*IISD RS archive of human development meetings

*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings

*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
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