The United Nations HABITAT III conference took place from 17-20 October in Quito. It brought together Member States who adopted the New Urban Agenda.

Representatives from the philanthropic sector actively participated in this conference. A number of events were organised by foundations and philanthropies as was reflected in the calendar of events we shared before.

The EFC Funders Forum on Sustainable Cities organised and participated in the following events during the week.

Two events dealing with the role of foundations and philanthropies in the implementation and monitoring of the New Urban Agenda

During the conference two events took place that really delved deeper into understanding the role of philanthropy in the New Urban Agenda. 

Key messages coming out of these conversations are:

  • Philanthropy should welcome the New Urban Agenda as it provides a common framework for all stakeholders
  • The common framework helps in aligning work and fosters collaboration and synergies with different sectors
  • With almost all philanthropy having some sort/form of place-based funding the NUA is particularly relevant
  • Now that the agreements are there a lot of work needs to be done around demystifying the global agendas
  • New Urban Agenda is not an addition to the work of philanthropy but enhances the work and also connects different bits and pieces from across the world that together are already implementing the New Urban Agenda
  • Philanthropy is an implementer already, FFSC will spend work on identifying this and connecting initiatives from across the world

Meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary General Ban Ki Moon requested a meeting at the Habitat III conference to thank institutional philanthropy for its invaluable contribution to sustainable urban development. The EFC’s Funders Forum for Sustainable Cities played a key role in bringing together philanthropic organisations for this meeting. 

The meeting opened with a welcome from the Secretary General, thanking foundations for their essential role in the sustainable development agenda. He then pointed out one particular issue philanthropy can help with is data collection and in particular aggregated data. He gave the example that there is no value in knowing that 1 billion people live in extreme poverty if we don’t understand the underlying reasons and causes.

Following Ban Ki-Moon’s introduction, Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President at the Ford Foundation for Economic Opportunity thanked the Secretary General for the leadership he showed during his term and the success and momentum of the Paris Agreements, the SDGs and now the New Urban Agenda.

This was followed by a round of questions by the participants asking the Secretary General for advice and guidance on the implementation of both the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda.

The UN Secretary General concluded the meeting inviting all foundations also beyond those in the room to remain vital partners of the UN on the Road to 2030.

Cocktail reception at NextCity World Stage, with welcome address by Joan Clos, Executive  Director UN HABITAT and Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito

On Wednesday 19th October the FFSC hosted a cocktail reception for representatives of philanthropy and other stakeholders.

Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN Habitat and Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito gave opening statements as start of this informal event. They stressed that philanthropy is a key partner in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. For any questions on the event, please contact Ali Khan