Sri Lanka was nominated by acclamation to the Executive Board at the First UN Habitat Assembly held from 27-31st May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ceremoniously inaugurated the First UN Habitat Assembly (UNHA 1) under the theme “Innovation for a Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”, with the participation of 113 countries including 44 Ministers, 60 Mayors were among the 2,250 delegates from all over the world. At the High Level Segment, Salva Kiir, President of South Sudan, Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, and Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, Prime Minister of Yemen also participated.
Bernard Vasantha, Secretary Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs leading the Sri Lanka delegation in his National Statement informed that Sri Lanka has aliened its housing programmes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with the New Urban Agenda and the good governance policies of Sri Lanka.
Highlighting some of the achievements, Secretary Bernard Vasantha stated that the core of the Western Regional Megoapolis Planning Concept in Sri Lanka is to provide more green space for housing settlements. He added that, his Ministry is in the process of amending existing Laws, Acts and Legislation as necessary, to facilitate the implementation of new SDGs . He added that, Sri Lanka recently introduced the National Construction Policy to promote environment friendly buildings with green building guidelines.
The other members of the delegation comprised of Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Nairobi, Sunil de Silva, L S Palansuriya, Chairman National Housing Development Authority, Christopher A. Wijeyeweere, Chairman, Condominium management Authority and Anzul Jhan, Deputy High Commissioner.