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Fields of activity

Cooperation with international actors

View of Tel Aviv by night

In the field of urban development, German development cooperation works together with international actors both at a multilateral level and through bilateral partnerships.

Countering the challenges posed by urbanisation and creating liveable cities for everyone requires cities and metropolitan areas with the ability to take action. As the first major UN conference following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, the third global summit on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III) in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, is a chance to set out in greater detail the development targets and Sustainable Development Goals and to shape the framework for their implementation.

German contribution

The positions adopted by the German government are influencing the Habitat III process on an ongoing basis. At the 9th Federal Congress on National Urban Development Policy held in September 2015, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together put forward the German government’s position on Habitat III. The National Report for Habitat III was also submitted in August 2015.

The focal point for the contribution made by German development policy to Habitat III was the German Habitat Forum held in June 2016, and attended by more than 900 people from 74 countries. The outcomes of the forum were fed into the Habitat III process as the “Berlin Recommendations for the Cities of Tomorrow”. These emphasize in particular the contribution made by sustainable urban development for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Germany actively supports the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat). UN-Habitat is largely funded from the regular UN budget, to which Germany contributes 8.7 per cent, as well as via voluntary pledges from Member States that are earmarked for a specific purpose. Germany has a seat both on the Committee of Permanent Representatives as well as on the Governing Council, which comprises 58 countries in total.


Cities Alliance – Cities Without Slums

The "Cities Alliance – Cities Without Slums" initiative is a coalition of cities and development partners set up by the World Bank and UN-Habitat in 1999. The platform brings together development organisations, industrialised countries and partner countries as well as city associations and bodies representing the interests of slum dwellers. The aim of the global partnership is to reduce urban poverty and to strengthen the role played by cities in promoting global sustainable development. Through its financial contributions as well as its work in the partnership’s bodies, Germany has played an active role in the Cities Alliance since its foundation. Germany was, for instance, a member of the Executive Committee on repeated occasions.


ICLEI – Governments for Sustainability

With more than 1,220 local government representatives from more than 70 countries, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the world’s largest association of local governments dedicated to environmental protection and sustainable urban development. Among other things, ICLEI is responsible for organising the annual Resilient Cities congress, which aims to devise local solutions to global problems. For instance, the association addresses topics such as Agenda 21, community environmental management and urban climate change adaptation. The ICLEI World Secretariat is located in Bonn. The BMZ provided financing for the construction and expansion of an affiliated knowledge centre.


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