NEW DELHI: All is set for the Housing Ministers, High Commissioners and Ambassadors from 69 Asia-Pacific countries, including India, coming here to participate in the first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Human Settlements being held from December 13 to address vital issues concerning urban governance. The conference will end with adoption of a `Delhi Declaration' for transforming the all-inclusive urban landscape by 2020.
The four-day meet will discuss issues concerning pro-poor urban governance and planning, water and sanitation, slum upgradation, urbanisation and financial matters. In all, about 500 delegates from India and abroad, will focus on the challenges of urbanisation, housing and habitat management, urban poverty and slum development and discuss strategies to effectively meet them. According to a spokesman of the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry, which jointly with the U.N. Habitat is hosting the conference, the participants would also include mayors, representatives of local authorities, and non-governmental organisations of the Asia Pacific Region. The theme of the conference is `A Vision for Sustainable Urbanization in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.' It aims at galvanising governmental action and political commitment to improve the lives of slum dwellers.
Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister will deliver the inaugural address. Kumari Selja, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation will inaugurate the exhibition.
On the third day, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will address the delegates. Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia will deliver the valedictory address. The participating countries include Mongolia, Malaysia, Bhutan, Maldives, Brunei, Armenia, Fiji, Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Oman, Qatar, Cyprus, Bahrain, Timor-Leste, Iran, Tuvalu, Jordan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Samoa, Pakistan, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, Yemen, India and others.