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"Building a safer world together" - World Habitat Day 2013, Geneva

7 October 2013


Every year on the first Monday of October nations around the world celebrate WORLD HABITAT DAY. The aim is to reflect on the state of our cities and to remind the world of its collective responsibility to improve the habitat for future generations.


At the Rio+20 meeting last year, the world's largest sustainable development conference in the history of the United Nations, priority was given to cities and their resilience to disasters.


To celebrate World Habitat Day 2013 and to stress the importance of buildings for a sustainable future, the UNECE Housing and Land Management Unit chose the topic “BUILDING A SAFER WORLD TOGETHER”. Given recent events world-wide, disaster preparedness and safety of buildings is of paramount interest to all populations. Thousands of lives and homes are regularly lost due to poor quality housing and safety.


World Habitat Day events, 7 October 2013


Exhibition of disaster relief homes in the United Nations park


Smart buildings developed by member Countries will be showcased in the garden of the Palais des Nations from 10 September to 10 October. These disaster relief transitory houses were donated by Canada and Estonia. It will be possible to visit the houses.

On 7 October, World Habitat Day and post-disaster housing will be discussed by Mr. Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary, Ms. Margareta Walström, Special Representative of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and representatives of humanitarian organisations.


At a press conference organized on 7 October, United Nations representatives will discuss the integration of disaster risk reduction into the sustainable development agenda, including programmes to develop housing and land management. Speakers will include: Mr. Sven Alkalaj, UNECE Executive Secretary; Ms. Margareta Walström, Special Representative of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; and experts on post-disaster housing.



© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013