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World Habitat Day

  • 04 Oct 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day (3rd October 2022) to reflect on the state of our habitats, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) celebrated World Habitat Day 2022 at Vigyan Bhawan.

What is World Habitat Day?

  • About:
    • The Day is intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
    • World Habitat Day 2022 seeks to draw attention to the growing inequalities and vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by the Triple ‘C’ Crises: COVID-19, Climate and Conflict.
  • Theme of WHD 2022:
    • “Mind the Gap. Leave No One Behind and No Place Behind.”
      • The theme serves a strong reminder that “we cannot leave behind any citizen and any place as we build towards a more resilient future.”
  • History:
    • In 1985 the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day.
    • World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”.
      • Nairobi (Kenya) was the host city for the observance that year.
  • Habitat Scroll of Honour Award:
    • The Habitat Scroll of Honour Award was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (U.N.-Habitat) in 1989.
    • It is currently the most prestigious human settlements award in the world.
    • Its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction etc.

What are Key Highlights of WHD Celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan?

What are India’s Initiatives for Urban & Rural Management?

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question:

Q. With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct? (2017)

  1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.
  2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.
  3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1 and 3 only 
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 only

Ans: (b)


  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), established in 1978 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), is the lead agency within the UN system for coordinating activities in the field of human settlement development. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • UN-Habitat partners comprises of national governments, local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations and the private sector. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • UN-Habitat focuses on the following priority areas:
    • Shelter and social services;
    • Urban management;
    • Environment and infrastructure;
    • Assessment, monitoring and information.
  • UN-Habitat aims to achieve the Millennium Declaration’s Goal that envisages improvement of the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020 through focusing on urban governance, housing, environmental management, disaster mitigation, post-conflict rehabilitation, urban safety, water management and poverty reduction. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: PIB

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