September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Informal Settlements

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Oscar Vartanian

Sustainable urban development has been a long-lasting and key problem that many major cities across the world are facing. Many cities have seen a major increase in the population of major cities over the past 200 years, the city population has gone from only accounting for 10% of the world population to now nearly 60%. This has created a major challenge for cities as they can not increase at the rate necessary to house all these individuals. This has forced many into living in informal settlements which are unplanned and not legally protected. This has forced many into dangerous and unsanitary living conditions and has increased crime.

The UN has recognized this issue and in 2015 had a conference on sustainable housing and urban development. They found that nearly 1.6 billion people are living in informal settlements across the world. They came up with the UN Sustainable Goal 11, which Is meant to create inclusive, safe, and sustainable housing.

Japan supports the UNDP approach to urban development that addresses the needs of each different settlement. Japan encourages the UNDP to focus on the sustainability of urban development and to work with each member state closely and prioritize the needs of each. The goal is not to only provide housing, it is also to keep it crime-free, clean, and safe. Japan encourages the UNDP to include residents of these settlements in the decision-making processes. They also should implement community-building activities and create a better environment for the citizens.

One major problem these settlements have now is a lack of access to essential needs such as clean water and consistent food sources. Japan supports the UNDP in creating a better infrastructure system giving the informal settlements access to clean water, sanitation, and electricity cost-effectively while still considering the environment.

A major problem informal settlements face is natural disasters. When natural disasters hit informal settlements, it has terrible consequences. Due to the lack of modernization and the poverty in the areas, it has major effects on these settlements. Japan has a similar problem having high vulnerability to natural disasters. Japan has a great amount of experience and countless hours and dollars put into research regarding disaster resilience and risk reduction. Japan encourages the UNDP to help provide risk-reduction resources and to work with the developing settlements to help prevent damage and protect the informal settlements.

Japan plans to continue its long-lasting support of the UNDP and supports its efforts to work with the international community on fixing the problems that have affected these informal settlements. By making a comprehensive plan working closely with each country and utilizing different non-governmental organizations. Also, it provides essential needs for the people like clean water, sanitation, and electricity.

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