September 16, 2019
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Informal Settlements

Economic and Social Council: United Nations Development Programme

Topic: Informal Settlements

Over the course of human history, cities have always existed as centers of trade and governance. The United Nations Population Division estimates that the number of individuals living in cities has increased from less than 10 percent to over 55 percent of the world’s population in the past 200 years. In some developing nations, the growth of cities has been even more recent and rapid. This is in part due to the rapid movement of economic opportunities from rural areas to cities rapidly outpacing the construction of affordable housing. Additionally, political events and natural disasters create refugees, who often travel to cities when they can no longer remain in their homelands. These factors have resulted in the rise of informal settlements, unplanned, legally unprotected, and often hazardously located settlements, usually on the edges of urban areas. The UN estimates approximately 68 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, and without an alternative housing solution, informal settlements will inevitably continue to grow.

In a 2015 UN conference on Sustainable Housing and Urban Development, an informal settlement was defined as housing in which the residents lack some combination of the following: security of tenure (meaning legally recorded owner- or rentership), access to basic services and city infrastructure, and compliance with city planning or building regulations. By this definition, the conference found that approximately 1.6 billion people lived in informal settlements. UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Some cities have attempted “slum upgrading” to improve the quality of housing in these settlements, and some have even created opportunities for residents to officially purchase the land they are living on. Other cities have built new, higher quality housing to replace informal settlements, but this has come with a wide range of its own controversies about how they are paid for, who should be prioritized, what type of housing should be built, and where it should be built. It is important for the United Nations Development Programme to consider how to provide adequate housing, transportation, and infrastructure to those living in informal settlements.

Without action, the world is in danger of failing to meet sustainable development goal number 11 by its target completion goal of 2030, at detriment to the health of over half of the world’s population living in cities. Considering how their own nation is addressing urban growth, delegates should assess how to prevent further growth of inadequate housing, as well as how governments can make informal housing more adequate. The committee should also consider what nations at different levels of development and facing different challenges can do to decrease the number of individuals living in informal settlements. Most importantly, nations ought to respect the humanity of all of the individuals living in informal settlements, regardless of what approach the committee chooses to address this pressing issue.

Useful Links:

UN statistics on Sustainable Development Goal 11
https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/goal-11/

UN-Habitat Statistics on human settlements and explanations for how statistics are calculated https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/metadata/files/Metadata-11-01-01.pdf

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Submitted Position Papers

RoyalOakDelegate 11/22/2023 21:52:53 68.36.250.211

Topic:
Country: Algeria
Delegate Name: Giselle Green

Informal settlements are known as housing that lacks critical infrastructure planning, authorization and basic living necessities. Informal Settlements currently make up about 1.6 billion of the Earth’s population’s housing. This poses great risks socially and economically. A major likelihood is illness and death due to overcrowding and lack of resources. This type of housing also tends to stem from places of poverty. Many factors can contribute to the expansion of informal settlements such as: increasing housing prices, population size, and war displacement. This housing layout only increases inequity and illness which doesn’t solve the problem proactively.

Informal housing is an issue we and many other nations face, that affects us from many different aspects, we are in favor of creating a long-term solution to this threat. Algeria has dealt with the issue of informal settlements before. Due to the political conflict in the Western Sahara, many Sahrawi refugees sought safety in our region. Refugees stayed in refugee camps going back as far as 1975. We still haven’t been able to put the Sahrawi refugees in better homing which has become a major problem because of the lack of resources they have access to on the camps. As many nations did, Algeria experienced a wave of urbanization in the 1980’s. This only increased the amount of informal housing. As people tried to move closer to the cities, low-income slums were the only housing choice available for most. The Algerian government acknowledged this issue and decided to invest in improvement programs that would improve the infrastructure of these settlements. Sadly, by implementing this solution, we ran into two problems. First, during an economic crisis in the 1990’s, our government had to take a hiatus on this project because we could not sustain it. This only resulted in a burst of informal settlements. Once our economy was stable again, Algeria was able to continue its modernization project with informal settlements. This revealed that our strategy was only a temporary fix. While the urbanization of informal housing served as a solution for many, it also created a middle class which left a group of people who were still in need of informal housing.

Algeria has tried to tackle the issue of informal housing in the past. We did not succeed in a strong, long-term plan though. We are hoping that with the experiences, knowledge and awareness of the other nations in our committee, we will be able to come up with an infallible solution. Learning from our past mistakes, approaching this issue head-on might not solve the problem in the end. There are many more factors that we as nations would have to address first if we want to truly solve the issue of informal housing. Previously, Algeria’s government simply put money into the modernization programs for the areas with informal housing. As stated before, this did not work because it created a middle class and left informal housing still in demand for many. A solution to this would be targeting the main demographic of people that live in informal housing. A large portion of these people are displaced people from other countries. The Sahrawi refugees in Algeria are still living in refugee camps which is not a sustainable way of living. A solution the delegation of Algeria proposes would be to integrate people living in informal housing into society. A major issue that is faced is being closed off from society and its services. If Algeria put its money into helping people in informal housing find sustainable homes and jobs, it would be much more beneficial than just urbanizing existing settlements. We could do this by creating organizations that specifically target this issue and give guidance to the people in these living situations. On a larger scale, this solution could prove beneficial for many other nations facing this issue as well.

Works Cited:

“Risks to Health in Informal Settlements.” International Institute for Environment and Development, www.iied.org/risks-health-informal-settlements#:~:text=Residents%20typically%20lack%20secure%20land,premature%20death%20in%20informal%20settlements. Accessed 22 Nov. 2023.

SDG Indicator Metadata – UNSD, unstats.un.org/sdgs/metadata/files/Metadata-11-01-01.pdf. Accessed 23 Nov. 2023.

“Rethinking the Concept of A ‘Durable Solution’: Sahrawi Refugee Camps Four Decades On.” Rethinking the Concept of a “Durable Solution”: Sahrawi Refugee Camps Four Decades On | Ethics & International Affairs, www.ethicsandinternationalaffairs.org/journal/rethinking-the-concept-of-a-durable-solution-sahrawi-refugee-camps-four-decades-on. Accessed 22 Nov. 2023.

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Trevor Riley 11/22/2023 16:29:25 174.162.60.153

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Matthew Gascon

Having proper housing not only gives people a proper roof over their heads. It allows and expands educational and employment opportunities, supports public health, and provides conditions for good socio-economic development. The UN and its many agencies such as the UNDP and UN-Habitat have been hard at work to help those in need. 3 Habitat conferences have brought the world together to talk about various issues related to housing, urbanization, poverty, and much more. The UNDP has also worked to address the urban-rural divide by treating them equally when developing policies and strategies.

Canada has always been committed to ensuring a good standard of living for all of its inhabitants. We recognize the extreme complexity of helping people in informal settlements. In 2015, Montreal hosted a meeting with numerous cities from around the world participating to help deal with homelessness and poverty. We’ve worked with various academics, NGOs, and cities to help deal with housing and poverty issues in Canada and around the world. We recognize that urbanization can act as a means to proper development rather than just an outcome. Also, Canada has invested in over 600,000 affordable homes to make sure people don’t just have a roof over their heads, but a stable one that boosts their socioeconomic opportunities.

For solutions, we believe affordable housing is the key to helping people in informal settlements. We recognize however that they’re are heavy disputes over how the housing should be built. We believe proper cooperation between all nations in varying situations and problems will help cultivate the proper conversations and solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 16:04:04 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Kazakhstan
Delegate Name: Shyla Chadda

Informal settlements can be used as a possible alternative for sheltering the poor. However, overcrowding and poor sanitation is a major consequence. These residential areas are often in use for illegal housing or informal renting. The UN-Habitat states “…they also create disease, crime, pollution, and poverty…in developing countries, slum dwellers number more than 50% of the population and have little or no access to shelter, water, and sanitation.” The amount of informal settlements has increased to over one billion people, 80% of which is contained in three areas: Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central/Southern Asia. The United Nations has made efforts to create the organization Global Action Plan to transform these slums. According to the United Nations SGDs, due to increasing population and migration, these slums are becoming more apparent in today’s world. One goal they propose is to “ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.”

Kazakhstan declared independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan has been working to reestablish its traditions and culture due to the release of Russia’s control on them. Since then, this has left Kazakhstan in a difficult economic and social position. An unemployment issue has been developed because of this, leaving many in poverty. A large number of migrants from Central Asian countries also resulted in the occurrence of informal settlements. The Kazakh government has no other option but to take a violent approach to these illegal shelters and often punishes them by demolishing the property. However, Kazakhstan realizes the importance of these shelters and has been making efforts to address these challenges. They have created a favorable banking system and given access to mortgage-based credit to improve living conditions. Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital, has been increasing in size. The population has increased from 1.13 million in 2001 to 2.1 million in 2021. Its population is expected to exceed 3 million people by 2030 if this rate continues. This will create new challenges for the sustainable development of housing. Home prices have quadrupled from 2001 through 2016. Because of this, affording to live in the city has been hard for many people. 3.7% of the population was reported to live in slums, or informal settlements in 2022. UNECE, a program that supports Kazakhstan in the development of sustainable living conditions, provides countries with healthy shelters through recommendations and policy advice on housing sector policy.

Kazakhstan urges the United Nations to support and provide a healthier approach toward informal settlements. These shelters have multiple beneficial aspects for the vulnerable, and providing a safe and sanitary environment is crucial to these living conditions. Kazakhstan recommends creating a sub-committee with countries that support the cause of this unfortunate issue by supplying funds. Countries in similar situations should join and contribute toward solving this problem.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:51:26 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: India
Delegate Name: Sabrina Green

Informal housing is widely spread throughout every country. These communities have many benefits and drawbacks. Informal settlements result from increased population but decreased housing. Some downsides to informal housing are an unsafe, non-regulated environment, and the inability to get basic resources. For example, not enough regulated houses have caused poor societies to make their communities without government or any regulation. This causes housing to be very inadequate for living and unsafe. However, these informal housing situations allow citizens to not become homeless. Because these houses do not have a lot of government regulation it causes the people to lose less access to basic needs that would otherwise be given by the government. Although these living spaces can be very unsafe, they also have many advantages. Some advantages of these houses would be supporting the government by having smaller communities that supply the government, and by creating communities that have similar challenges which brings people together. Informal housing heavily supports local government through informal labor. These houses also support one another through the closeness of experiences.

India’s population is around 1.42 billion. Though these informal communities can be bad, for India’s large population, they cannot be prevented. India has many of these informal societies already in the country. India has around 26-37 million informal houses. One big factor is that India is known for its large population, the size of India compared to The USA is around ⅓ the size, however, the United States has roughly around 334 million people. This results in many areas being crunched together and has little to no room for its citizens. New Delhi is a big contributor to “the slums” otherwise known as informal settlements. India is very well aware of the increased population as well as the increased settlements, and India is taking great action by putting money into building more houses. These actions India is taking would include building around 22 million homes near New Delhi. Another action taken by the Supreme Court of India stated that one homeless shelter for every 100,000 people should be built in every city. Though India still has many homeless due to the size of the population, the government is trying to help its citizens.

India urges the United Nations to help create a system to give all countries needed help with housing. One way The United Nations could help solve this problem all over the world is by creating a sub-committee in the UN to specialize in these house improvement projects. This committee could include actions like finding countries with the majority of homeless and focusing on improving life quality. This project could be funded by larger countries with higher GDP through taxes or by fundraisers such as CIC (center on international cooperation). One thing is committee could do is send representatives for each suffering country and have them report the highest concentration of these informal settlements. The committee could mainly focus on the more dire cases but still try to help all these informal communities. Overall life quality needs to be improved for those who suffer daily due to insufficient housing situations.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:38:38 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Abigail Huffman

As migration to urban areas increases, cities across the globe are facing the rapid growth of informal settlements. According to UN-Habitat, informal settlements are defined as “settlements whereby persons, or squatters, assert land rights or occupy for exploitation of land which is not registered in their names, or government land, or land legally owned by other individuals”. Such settlements are accompanied by a wide array of related issues, most notably the lack of access to basic, necessary services such as clean water, electricity, and technology. For instance, a case study conducted by UNICEF in Lebanon proved that one-third of people in informal settlements are forced to use water sources containing high levels of E. Coli, a measurement of the fecal contamination levels. Moreover, it is estimated that a glaring 80% of people in informal settlements go without electricity, further distancing themselves from opportunities for social and economic mobility. These circumstances prohibit societies from meeting UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, as conditions in informal settlements arise from conflicts, and are not sustainable or reliable in the ever-developing world. If informal settlements are not improved and continue to be the main housing system for many areas, those living there will unfortunately be left behind and forever impoverished—which is why change is necessary now.

The United Kingdom has established its own “Decent Homes Standard” outlined in the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Standards include dwellings providing a reasonable degree of thermal comfort (heating and cooling systems), being in a reasonable state of repair, and having adequate modern facilities. The United Kingdom has made tremendous progress in achieving these standards, and subsequently meeting UN SDG 11, as the 33% of housing in Great Britain failing to meet these standards in 2008 has reduced to only 14% not meeting them in 2021. While these requirements may be unrealistic for less-developed countries to replicate, the strategies used by UK officials to improve housing quality certainly can be. The creation of the 2021-26 Affordable Homes Programme in the UK allows for the allocation of 11.5 billion pounds of grant funding over five years to lower the cost of housing. These funds are projected to support the creation of 180,000 new homes. Furthermore, the programme’s funding is to be split: 50% going to providing discounting rents, and the other 50% going towards affordable home ownership projects. The United Kingdom is of the belief that the UNDP could fashion a similar program. However, funding would come from prominent NGOs, like Habitat for Humanity or CFK Africa, or contributions from countries with low amounts of informal settlements. The amount of funding distributed to each country would be determined by the country’s ability to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, with countries furthest away from that goal receiving the most funding, and countries who have met or are near meeting SDG 11 providing more funding.
In conclusion, the United Kingdom would like to see increased efforts from the UK to reduce the number of informal settlements, and better conditions for those unable to move out of them. Recognizing that in order for this to occur, employment rates, wages, and government support must improve, the UK calls for the United Nations Development Programme to consider resolutions that promote increased funding and subsidies for new housing projects or systems, as well as establish a concrete standard of adequate housing.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:06:00 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Hope Orban

As defined by the UN, an informal settlement is defined as housing in which the residents lack a combination of security of tenure, access to basic services and infrastructure, and compliance with building regulations. Over 1 billion people worldwide live in these conditions. These self-built and unplanned settlements emerge due to the rapid urbanization that is taking over the global community. The United Nations Population Division estimates that the number of individuals living in cities has increased from less than 10 percent to over 55 percent of the world’s population in the past 200 years. The UN estimates that approximately 68% of the world will live in urban areas by 2050. These accelerated rates of urbanization due to environmental, economic, and political motives inevitably create slums on the edge of city areas. Although they often face many dangers and lack protection and basic resources, informal settlements provide a potential housing solution for the underprivileged. They also provide a sense of community to residents, contribute to urban economies, and are centers of culture. The challenge in managing and improving informal settlements is to find a way to make these potentially culturally rich and beneficial housing situations into safe and manageable places to live.

Brazil is the largest country in South America. Over 86% of its 214.3 million person population live in urban areas. Two of the largest cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are home to 12.33 and 6.748 million people respectively. Unfortunately, Brazil has some of the highest income inequality in the world. The country’s richest 5% have the same income as the remaining 95% of society. This unequal distribution of wealth creates a struggling low class, many of which live in informal settlements. The most common type of informal settlement in Brazil are called favelas. Favelas are simply defined as working-class slums in Brazil. According to the 2010 Brazilian census, over 11 million people live in these communities. Created in the late 19th century by returning soldiers and emancipated slaves, these neighborhoods are faced with lacking infrastructure, poor sanitation and nutrition, pollution, high rates of diseases and mortality, and overcrowding. These communities are often ruled by drug lords that use fear tactics and violence to control the population. Lack of government and regulation in favelas allows these conditions to persist. While dangerous, favelas are also home to talented, hard-working inhabitants that promote business and culture within these slums. The Brazilian government has implemented a multitude of measures overtime in an attempt to control, upgrade, or get rid of favelas. Perilous attempts have been made to remove or relocate favelas. Some favelas are or were controlled by Pacifying Police Units (UPPs), specialized police units focused on managing slum crime. The result of these forces was a mixed bag, but after their implementation all recent political leaders in Brazil have tried to implement a form of offensive supervision in favelas. Current policy stands to preserve and upgrade favelas, although not much legislation is being passed and created on the subject. Favelas, while serving as housing options for the poor and centers of culture and unique economic opportunity, currently face violence and are blocked off (metaphorically and physically by walls) from the greater urban populations of Brazil.

Informal settlements are not merely a problem to be solved. While negative conditions persist within them, upgrading and aiding the people within slums will bring economic benefits. Brazil, specifically, would like to work with NGOs like Catalytic Communities, ActionAid, and Community in Action to help upgrade, educate, and empower the people (specifically youth and women) living in favelas. In order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11 by its goal deadline, countries must come together in the UN to find a way to empower and upgrade the unique communities in informal settlements. Brazil calls upon the UN to use already developed and new subcommittees of the UN to create lasting and effective solutions for informal settlements.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 13:50:44 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Jordan
Delegate Name: Gavin Dakhi

Cities have historically served as crucial places for trade and governance in the world, contributing to a significant increase in the global urban population over the past two centuries. The United Nations Population Division estimates that over 55% of the world’s population now resides in urban areas, with an estimation of about 68% by 2050. This rapid urbanization has resulted in the need for informal settlements: unplanned, unprotected, and often hazardously located communities throughout these cities.

The United Nations defines informal settlements as areas where residents lack security, access to basic services, and compliance with law and city plans. Approximately 1.6 billion people are currently living in such places, a pressing issue that demands the attention of the United Nations.

Jordan recognizes the urgency of addressing the problems posed by informal settlements. Our nation is taking steps to manage urban growth, prevent the continuance of informal settlements, and improve conditions in informal settlements. There are currently 3.3 million refugees (about the population of Arkansas) that have taken up residence in Jordan, this makes up 33.1% of Jordan’s total population. Most of these refugees are taking up residence in informal settlements outside of cities. These refugees are the leading contributors to informal settlements in Jordan.

To effectively resolve this issue, international collaboration is essential. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 underscores the importance of creating inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities. Jordan aligns itself with this goal and encourages the need for a coordinated, mutual approach to address the root causes of informal settlements throughout the world.

To solve the issue of informal housing, Jordan would suggest; upgrading the current “slum” living to enhance the quality of housing in informal settlements, ensuring a more optimal and acceptable living environment. Jordan also suggests that alternate housing arrangements are accessible for those who need it, ensuring that these alternatives are affordable, sustainable, and align with the cultural contexts of the communities to inhabit these spaces. Finally, Jordan would like to recommend the importance of respecting the humanity and rights of the individuals currently living in informal settlements, regardless of the approaches Jordan makes to combat this crisis it is essential that we prioritize the well-being of vulnerable populations.

In conclusion, Jordan is committed to working collaboratively within the framework of the United Nations to address the global challenge of informal settlements and sub-optimal housing. By adopting a holistic and sustainable approach, we believe that nations can make significant strides toward achieving inclusive, safe, and resilient cities for all inhabitants.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 13:39:10 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Evan Puzzuoli

Informal settlements are housing areas that lack “security of tenure, access to basic services and city infrastructure, and compliance with city planning or building regulations.” That said, over 1.5 billion people live in informal settlements. The main problem with informal housing is that the homes that are being inhabited are not fit for living in, clean, or safe. The informal settlements are usually in cities. Some of the reasons why informal settlements are so common are because of the high cost of housing inside cities and poverty. Some solutions have been to have the inhabitants purchase the land, or have the government build housing.

In Turkey, there are informal settlements, known as Gecekondu. According to author Robert Neuwirth, 50% of Istanbul’s population live in Gecekondu homes. The start of Gecekondu living in Istanbul was the mid 1940’s. The Gecekondu cities were seen as a way of housing workers and increasing industrialization, as a result the Turkish government for the most part overlooked the Gecekondu cities. Turkey has offered amnesties for a limited time to Gecekondu cities in the past as an attempt at formalizing the developments.

Some solutions to the issue of informal settlements that Turkey has used which may be of use to the other countries experiencing this issue are the toleration of the settlements, or attempts to formalize the settlements.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 13:27:19 76.192.146.195

Topic: 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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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 13:29:15 74.199.24.79

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Denmark
Delegate Name: Juliet Guenther

Delegate: Juliet Guenther
School: Williamston High School
Country: Kingdom of Denmark
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Informal Settlements

As the world’s population continues to become more urban the issue of informal settlements is becoming more of a threat to not meeting sustainable development goal 11. Since the population of the world is projected to continue to get more urban the issue cannot be ignored by any organization. This problem impacts over half of the people in this world as informal settlements are non-sustainable, crime-ridden, and unhygienic. This problem requires action from the United Nations to bring a solution to all nations. This is the overall problem of informal settlements.
The Kingdom of Denmark completely recognizes the severity of informal settlements. This is apparent as the Kingdom of Denmark has remarkably eradicated this problem from our fortunate circumstances. The stable government and democracy of the Kingdom of Denmark have allowed many acts to be passed regarding this issue and bringing social housing. In regards to the Kingdom of Denmark, informal settlements are eradicated from this nation. With this issue conquered in our lands, we have aided other countries in need. For example, the Kingdom of Denmark has bought carbon credits from Bangladesh that were earned from them creating more sustainable developments. The Kingdom of Denmark has many other examples of them sharing their innovative solutions with multiple nations across the world.
The Kingdom of Denmark will continue to be helpful to developing countries in their pursuit of development. This will also go along with suggesting strategies to improve informal settlements and implement them in regulatory bodies. The Kingdom of Denmark hopes to find other developed nations that have addressed the problem and are willing to give aid to developing nations. While acknowledging the risks by exploring ways to reduce risks for investors while also giving incentives in the first place for investment. That is how the Kingdom of Denmark is going to respond to informal settlements in the United Nations Development Programme.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 13:17:37 98.97.2.135

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Denmark
Delegate Name: Juliet Guenther

Delegate: Juliet Guenther
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Informal Settlements

As the world’s population continues to become more urban the issue of informal settlements is becoming more of a threat to not meeting sustainable development goal 11. Since the population of the world is projected to continue to get more urban the issue cannot be ignored by any organization. This problem impacts over half of the people in this world as informal settlements are non-sustainable, crime-ridden, and unhygienic. This problem requires action from the United Nations to bring a solution to all nations. This is the overall problem of informal settlements.
The Kingdom of Denmark completely recognizes the severity of informal settlements. This is apparent as the Kingdom of Denmark has remarkably eradicated this problem from our fortunate circumstances. The stable government and democracy of the Kingdom of Denmark have allowed many acts to be passed regarding this issue and bringing social housing. In regards to the Kingdom of Denmark, informal settlements are eradicated from this nation. With this issue conquered in our lands, we have aided other countries in need. For example, the Kingdom of Denmark has bought carbon credits from Bangladesh that were earned from them creating more sustainable developments. The Kingdom of Denmark has many other examples of them sharing their innovative solutions with multiple nations across the world.
The Kingdom of Denmark will continue to be helpful to developing countries in their pursuit of development. This will also go along with suggesting strategies to improve informal settlements and implement them in regulatory bodies. The Kingdom of Denmark hopes to find other developed nations that have addressed the problem and are willing to give aid to developing nations. While acknowledging the risks by exploring ways to reduce risks for investors while also giving incentives in the first place for investment. That is how the Kingdom of Denmark is going to respond to informal settlements in the United Nations Development Programme.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 11:24:59 174.162.43.107

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra

Committee: United Nations Development Programme
Topic: Informal Housing
Country: Ukraine
Delegate: Aanya Dogra, Forest Hills Northern High School

As more people are migrating to cities, less affordable housing is available. Housing can be bought at an expensive price due to so much demand. As a result, many people, especially those in the lower economic class, reside in cheap housing. However, these informal settlements, also known as slums, may be dangerous or illegal. These slums pose a threat to sustainable urban development, human rights, and public health. As of 2020, over 1 billion people live in informal housing.
As with other nations, informal housing in Ukraine rises due to challenges posed by urbanization, economic struggles, and political agendas. Previously, while Ukraine was under Soviet rule in the 1960s, The Khrushchev Slums were created. These were assembled cheaply and quickly to accommodate the urban population. However, these three to five-story apartment buildings made of concrete panels or brick had major structural flaws and a low quality of life. The maintenance of communal areas and amenities such as hallways, elevators, and heating systems was overlooked and the number of buildings and homes requiring significant structural repairs grew. As the real estate market grew in the early 2000s, housing supply still struggled. As of 2018, only 1% of the Ukrainian population lives in slums. Yet this number rises as war rages in Ukraine. Citizens are located on both sides of the front lines, exposing them to the risks of artillery shelling and landmines. More become displaced, contributing to the amount of people living in informal settlements. In addition, urbanization, and internal migration have contributed to the growth of informal settlements in major cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odesa.
The war in Ukraine has left nearly 1.5 million homes destroyed. Many rebuilding initiatives in Ukraine have been launched. The UN4UkrainianCities project, led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), commits to the principle of “building back better.” UNITED24’s Rebuild Ukraine program also aids in the restoration of Ukrainian homes. Projects similar to this in times of conflict allow for worse alternatives to be avoided. Programs like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Cities of Solidarity should be repeated to support the integration of IDPs. This event included central and local government authorities, humanitarian and development agencies, international and national non-government organizations, as well as the IDPs themselves. The primary objective was to develop a plan to integrate IDPs at the local level. To keep refugees fleeing Ukraine due to war out of informal settlements, some governments offer €800 to anybody offering accommodation.
Citizens who reside in informal settlements get stuck in a cycle of poverty, and any efforts to prohibit this will allow for a healthy, safe population. Ukraine would like to secure property rights for those currently living in informal settlements, develop infrastructure, and create a support system for countries with large issues in this topic. Ukraine looks forward to working with other countries on this topic.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 11:21:29 73.161.145.90

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Cuba
Delegate Name: Simon Rothstein

UN Development Program
Informal Settlements
Cuba
Simon Rothstein. Forest Hills Northern High School

Informal settlements are a matter of dispute among many countries as they offer potential threats or support to varied groups. Informal settlements and slums offer residence to over one billion people worldwide: about 12.5% of the world’s population. To these people, informal settlements are marked by a strong social infrastructure, effective community leadership, personal investment in homes, and links to more formally housed communities. At the same time, however, these settlements are unregulated residential areas and typically have inadequate physical infrastructure, unsuitable environments, uncontrolled, excessive population density, unsatisfactory homes, a lack of health, education, and employment opportunities, and no government regulation and management.
Before the 1950s, Cuba had significant housing issues. A large part of Cuba’s population lived in informal settlements or impoverished housing. Shantytowns and crude dwellings covered Cuba’s rural areas. Thus, during the Cuban Revolution, starting in 1959, the leader of the revolution, Fidel Castro, prioritized addressing issues regarding housing and homelessness. Castro implemented state-owned homes and highly subsidized housing to control the costs of houses and construction. He also passed laws to eliminate evictions and lower renting costs. In 1960, he eliminated multiple ownership, limiting people to one house and one vacation home, and allowed renters to buy their homes for a low cost. The Urban Reform Law turned half of the tenants into owners of the homes they were staying in, and other tenants received rent-free leases for long periods. Houses built after 1961 could not have leases exceeding 10% of the household income, further benefiting tenants. Various other legislation and programs followed Castro’s intentions, such as the Self-help and Mutual Aid program, the Microbrigade system, and the 1984 Housing Law. When the Soviet Union fell, Cuba’s economy took a big hit. They relied on foreign tourism to rebuild their economy, and foreigners were allowed to purchase houses in Cuba. Cuban citizens were also allowed to rent up to two rooms of their houses.
Moving forward, Cuba hopes to maintain its near-zero homelessness rate. Cuba recognizes the importance of the provision of adequate housing to all its inhabitants and considers home ownership a basic right of all humans. Thus, Cuba believes that informal settlements should be addressed and legislation should promote the replacement of informal settlements with legal, regulated homes and communities. In its efforts to introduce this system, Cuba maintains that this replacement should not leave inhabitants without housing, only replace it with better-regulated and updated housing.
Cuba understands that an outright governmental reconstruction of all informal settlements within a nation is a huge undertaking for some countries or goes against the economic principles of some countries. However, having gone through a long series of housing reforms, Cuba emphasizes the significant benefit of this process on a country’s homelessness rates. Cuba believes that the implementation of government-regulated housing renovations in informal settlements is vital to the protection and promotion of the inhabitants’ right to home ownership.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/22/2023 10:44:50 24.180.108.88

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Kate Risley

With a steady increase in the number of people living in cities worldwide, the number of informal settlements around these cities, especially in developing nations, has also increased rapidly. Informal settlements are housing options, usually located on the edge of urban areas, that offer residents no security of tenure over their housing. They are often located in areas where risk of violence, disease, and environmental disasters is high. The United States recognizes the issue of informal settlements worldwide and is dedicated to working towards a solution in line with the goals of UN sustainable development goal eleven.

The vast majority of people currently living in informal settlements are located in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia, so the US believes that a lot of solutions should be focused around those nations, at least initially. The United States believes that the issues of informal settlements can be tackled by listening to the needs of the countries most affected and then planning aid programs based on those needs.

Not only does the US believe that the issues of informal settlements should be addressed through better housing, but also by better connection between the areas where informal settlements are located and the cities they are associated with. Only 53% of people worldwide have convenient access to public transportation, with the vast majority of those who don’t living in developing nations. Increased access to public transportation would indirectly help mitigate the effects of informal settlements because it would give those living in informal settlements easier access to the economic opportunities that the cities provide for them.

The United States understands that tackling the problem of informal settlements requires cooperation amongst nations and is prepared to discuss possible solutions with other nations.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 00:05:19 172.58.126.85

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Ghana
Delegate Name: Frinz Fisher

Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Informal Settlements
Country: Ghana
Delegate: Frinz Fisher
School: Williamston High School

“The absolute number of people living in slums or informal settlements grew to over 1 billion, with 80 percent attributed to three regions: Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (370 million), Sub-Saharan Africa (238 million), and Central and Southern Asia (227 million).” Unfortunately with the over circulation of narcotics, disease, and other heinous crimes it has become too overwhelming for the regulation of special forces. The UN has taken initiative to form the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to act as a communicator through governments as the UN attempts to facilitate activities and other events to combat these poverty rates. However, even so as the DSPD and DESA attempt to support these governments to find safe haven for those in poverty, there continues to be plentiful concerns regarding the human rights that these previously homeless inhabitants seek for, including but not limited to; job security, hunger, homelessness, medical security, and even drug abuse.

The country of Ghana has battled these informal slums/settlements through outside organizations such as the Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor to especially fund the necessities to stave off eviction of those living in Old Fadama. An urban slum of nearly 80,000 inhabitants that was established through traders, merchants, and migrants of surrounding West African countries. The country of Ghana also recognized organizations established within slums to establish the security of human rights such as the Fadama Legal Assistance Program which provides resolutions to disputes and access to information and assistance when needed. However, the Ghanaian government continues to seek help as we continue to battle those that seek to conserve the “sustainability” of these urban slums; the community that they procure to be and even the sustainability of labor that these slums tend to seek for.

The country of Ghana has previously agreed upon with these outside and internal organizations to combat the unsustainable aspects of urban slums and we seek help from larger democratic and independent countries to seek refuge for those living in these unsanitary environments which limit their human rights. Those such as, but not limited to; The United Kingdom, the United States of America, and France. Seeking for aid and assistance to fund potential areas and development.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/21/2023 21:56:46 68.43.9.246

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Eva Gavin

Committee: UN Development Program
Topic: Informal Settlements
Country: Kingdom of Argentina
Delegate: Eva Gavin, Forest Hills Northern High School

Argentina is aware of the problems presented by informal settlements inside its boundaries as well as the significance of sustainable urban development. The problem of informal settlements is intricate and diverse, requiring an expansive and cooperative strategy at the global level. Argentina is a nation dedicated to inclusive development and social justice, and we think that resolving the issue of informal settlements is essential to safeguarding the welfare of our people.

We recognize that a number of issues, such as poverty, accelerated urbanization, a lack of affordable housing, and poor urban planning, contribute to the emergence of informal settlements. The substantial expansion of informal settlements in Argentina has made it more difficult to provide citizens with necessities like healthcare, education, and sanitation. To effectively address these problems, a comprehensive approach that considers specifics of every nation is needed.

Argentina has taken many steps to alleviate the problems that informal settlements present. Our government has made investments in social housing initiatives to give vulnerable communities access to reasonably priced housing. Acknowledging the significance of infrastructure development in enhancing the standard of living for residents, we have strove to enhance the accessibility of fundamental services in informal settlements.

Argentina believes that solving the problem of informal settlements requires cooperation between parties. In order to provide successful procedures, resources, and knowledge in addressing informal settlements, we recommend creating an international task force inside the UNDP that consists of states, non-governmental organizations, and international agencies. Argentina encourages greater funding for initiatives that develop local governments’ capacity to carry out efficient urban planning and management plans. In order to address the underlying causes of informal settlements, this involves providing training in inclusive policies, community participation, and sustainable urban development. Argentina requests more funding from the international community through the UNDP in order to execute thorough plans for combating informal settlements, acknowledging the financial limitations that many nations confront. The provision of basic services in informal settlements, infrastructure development, and social housing initiatives should all receive this support. Argentina is dedicated to collaborating with the UNDP and the global community to find long-term solutions for the informal settlement problem. Through targeting the underlying factors, enhancing local capacity, and offering financial assistance, we can establish a more equitable and accessible urban setting for everybody. Argentina is prepared to have beneficial discussions with other nations in order to create substantial and efficient solutions to deal with this urgent problem.

Works Cited:
United Nations Development Programme. “UNDP.” UNDP, 2022, www.undp.org/.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/21/2023 19:10:14 138.43.90.123

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Nigeria
Delegate Name: Keegan Bierema

Topic: Informal Settlements
Country: Nigeria
Delegate name: Keegan Bierema

Cities are increasingly becoming more important in today’s ever changing world. As cities grow at unprecedented rates, infrastructure is unable to keep up with this new demand in housing. Spillover of people without homes causes informal housing, hastily built and often unsanitary pieces of housing built to make room for more people. Informal housing is set to grow over the next 40 years and already contributes 70% of the world’s carbon emissions while consuming 60% of used resources.
Nigerian informal settlements have existed since the early 20th century and have recently grown to prominence in the country. Nigeria will take action on any informal settlement presumed to be harboring criminals which often results in demolition and accessing the land. Nigeria’s largest Informal settlement, Makoko, has a population estimated to be north of 100,000 and in the past decades, the government has asserted its power on the settlement. Nigeria calls for an international code that limits the spread of these settlements and a quick solution to the problem.
Nigeria encourages all countries with the ability, to support the eradication of informal settlements, in any manner necessary. Informal Settlements are illegitimate pieces of a city that should be dealt with legally and decisively. Settlements such as these are a matter to be decided by the international community as a whole. Nigeria is excited to cooperate with partners on this issue.

Works cited
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/08/informal-settlements
https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/goal-11/
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/mar/01/we-woke-to-bulldozers-nigeria-slum-clearance-leaves-thousands-homeless

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 17:47:25 75.204.241.59

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Venezuela
Delegate Name: Ethan Robine

Country: Venezuela
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Informal Housing

As the world continues to develop, naturally, the pattern of urbanization has followed suit. The boom of the industrial revolution ushered in an era of exponential growth. The world saw a dramatic increase in population, production, and of course, urbanization. However this increasingly rapid migration from rural to urban has not been met with equally responsive housing availability. The development of legitimate settlements is an arduous process, requiring government approval, adherence to safety regulations, and substantial funding. These barriers significantly slow down the rate at which housing can be made available, thus to meet demand throughout the world people have constructed informal settlements, bypassing these legitimate steps in the building process. These informal settlements are defined by their lack of legal ownership, lack of infrastructure access, and a lack of compliance with construction safety standards. It is clear to see how these settlements are unsafe, unsanitary, and their very existence is unorganized and unregulated. These informal settlements, often known as ‘slums’, are a major issue as they are directly impeding the development of our world in a safe and sustainable manner.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has first hand dealt with informal settlements, home to ‘Petare’, the largest slum in all of South America. Slums within Venezuela, known as ‘barrios’, are ripe with crime, violence, and poverty. The vast majority of the Venezuelan population lives within urban areas (88.38%), and a large portion of these individuals reside in informal settlements. Venezuela is unique in that compared to most other nations, it has not seen a substantial increase in urban populations, this is partially due to wide scale emigration out of Venezuela. With over seven million people leaving the nation since 2015. In 2023 around 28.84 million people inhabit Venezuela, in 2010 this value was an estimated 28.72 million. The nation has gone through periods of population growth and shrinking leaving it relatively unchanged over the past decade. Slums throughout the world are generally known for rapid population growth however the barrios of Venezuela are unique in that they typically see much less growth in terms of population. As a result, The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela finds it much more imperative to look into the upgrading of existing slums and the construction of new alternative housing, rather than focusing on reducing the expansion of informal settlements.
Many of the Barrios within Venezuela are constructed haphazardly on the side of steep slopes, thus they are at risk of environmental dangers. The climate of Venezuela only exacerbates this issue, being subject to frequent earthquakes and a several month long rain season, putting a lot of stress on structures, including informal housing constructed without adherence to safety regulations. An instance in 1999, known as the Vargas tragedy in which heavy rains led to a mudslide that killed tens of thousands and displaced tens of thousands more. Additionally in the capital city of Caracas an infamous forty five story unfinished building, known as the ‘Tower of David’, amidst a housing crisis became home to hundreds of families as it was converted into a large vertical slum. It has since been evaluated and has experienced extensive damage as a result of earthquakes. Venezuela acknowledges the lack of adherence to safe planning and construction as a core factor in events responsible for massive loss of life. Thus the nation finds it imperative that going forward new housing is constructed in a manner that will lead to a substantial risk of environmental disaster.
As a nation Venezuela already contains a vast array of informal settlements and thus wishes to focus on how to bring about the conversion of slums into more adequate housing, while also balancing the construction of new housing. In the capital city the Caracas Slum Upgrading Project works to bring about new vital infrastructure, such as electricity, sewers, and vehicular access to those in existing barrios, who do not have them. Additionally the Venezuelan government has implemented programs such as the GMVV (Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela), which aims to bring about the construction of five million new homes by the end of 2024, and currently reports having built over 4.7 million. The expansion of these programs, and similar groups, is vital in helping to bring about stability and safety to those currently residing in informal settlements. Venezuela recommends that nations throughout the world adopt programs similar to that which Venezuela already utilizes domestically, in order to help to solve the issues informal housing presents.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela knows firsthand the dangers of informal settlements, given the nation’s detailed history with slums and their unsafe and unhealthy nature. As the world continues to develop it should do so in a manner that is safe and sustainable, thus it is imperative that we aim to move away from informal housing instead working to build a successful future. Challenges to overcoming informal housing, such as economic barriers and dealing with violent parties who rule over such settlements, are both issues prevalent within Venezuela. However, as proper housing is implemented, greater access to resources necessary for the prosperity of life, will likely see a decrease in issues such as violence and poverty. The complexity of this issue cannot be understated, and we must acknowledge that no two nations’ circumstances are the same. It is the hope of Venezuela that we can work together to bring about a solution to the issues that arise as a result of informal settlements, together we can usher in a more sustainable and safe future.

“Venezuela – Caracas Slum-Upgrading Project.” World Bank, documents.worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/280721468779128231/venezuela-caracas-slum-upgrading-project. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

“Ministerio Del Poder Popular Para El Hábitat y Vivienda.” Ministerio Del Poder Popular Para El Hbitat y Vivienda, www.minhvi.gob.ve/. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

JF, teleSUR/. “Venezuelan Government Has Built 4.2 Million Homes So Far.” News | teleSUR English, teleSUR, 28 Oct. 2022, www.telesurenglish.net/news/Venezuelan-Government-Has-Built-4.2-Million-Homes-So-Far-20221028-0002.html. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

Dio, Elena Di. “Large Movements – Petare, Venezuela: The Most Violent Slum in the World.” Migrazioni on the Road, 2021, migrazioniontheroad.largemovements.it/petare-venezuela-slum/#:~:text=Dulce%20Nombre%20de%20Jes%C3%BAs%20de,in%20all%20of%20Latin%20America. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/21/2023 17:14:48 98.97.3.230

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Spain
Delegate Name: Helen Engbers

With the growth of cities and the rise in the cost of living, informal settlements have become more prevalent around the world. In Spain, the people this primarily impacts are migrant farmworkers in many rural cities, along with people who were evicted during the pandemic despite the moratorium being extended. They are often the result of little to no affordable housing in bigger cities that have higher economic growth, as well as natural disasters and politics forcing families to relocate from their original homes. Spain attempted to combat people living in poverty by publishing a pushback policy to limit migrants from entering the country, but this ended up backfiring. Their food and energy prices rose with inflation as their cheap labor was denied entry into the country and their policy contributed to deaths at land and sea borders. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. To achieve this Spain should find a more proactive approach to relocating the population living in informal settlements into sustainable housing for everyone currently living in informal settlements.

Almería, a city of farming that started to take off 20 years ago is located in Spain and is an example of an informal settlement. Approximately 20% of the population are migrant workers and the majority of them are Moroccan, they work on farms and grow produce for Europe. The result of Almería’s harsh climate is that they need to cover the crops with plastic sheets to protect the plants. The workers are paid as little as $40 a day so they use the leftover plastic to make homes because they don’t have enough money for actual housing. There are now close to 100 encampments in the area of the makeshift homes. The local government has attempted to relocate the farmhands to shelters that are far from the farms but they keep re-building. A different approach I think would be effective is to first increase the pay of the farmhands to a more livable wage and then build apartments close to where they work.
Another group of people living in informal settlements is the homeless population in Spain. Around 20% of Spain’s population is below the poverty level and as of May 2023, 37,000 people are homeless living in Spain. But in this case, Spain is moving in the right direction, the overall goal of the 2023 Housing Act passed in April is to solve inequality. One outcome they are looking for is to promote public housing stock, only 2.5% of Spain’s housing is public and the EU average is 9.3%. Unfortunately, the housing law doesn’t offer solutions that could help prevent homelessness in the future. Because of this, I would recommend having more government-funded or public housing and lowering the prices of rent for those under the poverty line.

Living in informal settlements is not only dehumanizing but dangerous and there are many settlements like this in Spain. People living in informal settlements do not have the resources necessary to survive. Spain is moving in the right direction to abolish some of these informal settlements but I believe it could use some work to achieve the best overall outcome. Some things that could help is to offer more resources and support to people with lower incomes that could help provide them with better living situations. If Spain stays on track with the efforts that they’re making to eliminate informal settlements they can reach the UN sustainable development goal 11 by their target goal 2030.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 15:27:18 136.228.39.189

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: China
Delegate Name: Riley Chandel

Delegate: Riley Chandel
School: Williamston High School
Country: China
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Informal Settlements

With the rising issue of Informal Settlements within countries, many problems are occurring due to the settlements and their residents. The rapid change and development of the cities and economy of nations are causing some of the citizens to be unable to live in these cities, leading to the creation of settlements designed to give citizens a chance to live affordably. However, These settlements cause issues due to their designs not being architecturally planned, not being protected legally, and not considering the pollution caused by their citizens. The issue has been growing with now 1 billion people living in these slums as of 2018, and it is estimated that 2 billion more will also be forced to live in informal settlements by 2030.

China has recognized this issue growing in the nation and has made many efforts to stop the problem of informal settlements. Due to the fact China has recently had the most complex changing cities, informal settlements have been growing, and because of this China has dedicated its attention to researching the issue of informal settlements. China has also been remedying the informal settlements, also known as urban villages, to both improve the urban environment and its people. China began paying more attention to the urban villages after the spread of COVID-19, with China providing aid to the individuals residing within these informal settlements.

China would like to propose a resolution to the issue of informal settlements by improving the quality of these settlements in order to improve the urban environment of nations. China recognizes that not all nations are able to fund these changes and does not wish to impose on the sovereignty of any other nation. China believes that the improvement of these informal settlements will slow the increasing issue of the formation of the settlements and in turn, solve the issues such as poor infrastructure, poverty, and pollution caused by the settlements built. China expects to find allies with the countries of the Russian Federation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 15:25:09 136.228.39.189

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Belgium
Delegate Name: Abby Grocki

With approximately 1.6 billion individuals currently living in informal settlements across the globe, it is transparent the political, economic, and moral disputes taking place that should go no further. The rapid increase in economic opportunities in cities, rural land expenses, catastrophic political events, and natural disasters are the leading factors to refugees and informal settlements. All these have led to a devastating increase from 10% to over 55% of individuals living in cities over the past 200 years. With an United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (number 11) clearly stating the intentions of creating a safe, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient city or settlement expectancy by 2030, action must be taken globally to ensure the success of the UN.

Belgium recognizes the attention to detail regarding the heavily populated capital city of Brussels with 2.2 million of the 12 million individuals living in Belgium. While Brussels is an example of a city impacted by a more dense population, it is searching for strategically counteracting laws and regulations regarding informal settlements within the nation. One affiliation currently residing with Belgium’s practice is the participation of the Cities Alliances, a global partnership used to fight urban poverty and promote the long term programmatic endeavors that will lead to improved city development/ planning, and appropriate policy framework. Belgium reports to have promoted housing finance policies to enable homeownership by the credit of financial institutions in the report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and intends to continue the strength of regulations on informal settlements.

Belgium would look favorably on pursuing the five recommendations of the UNECE to gain better control over informal settlements which include: Providing ownership titles and registering those in property legalization systems while allowing property transactions and mortgages, revision zoning and planning procedures as well as developing regulations and standards, regularizing and upgrading informal settlements, and applying controls and upgrading indivisual constructions. These suggestions lay the foundation of resolving this issue at the source while simultaneously respecting the national sovereignty of each nation. Belgium looks forward to working with the U.S., Netherlands, Germany, and France to end the negative effects of informal settlements.

Works Cited
“- SDG Indicators.” United Nations, United Nations, unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/goal-11/. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.
Belgium Roma Housing – Fundamental Rights Agency, fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/574-RAXEN-Roma%20Housing-Belgium_en.pdf. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.
Formalizing the Informal – UNECE, unece.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Formalizing_the_Informal_Challenges_and_Opportunities_of_Informal_Settlements_in_South-East_Europe.pdf. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.
Improving Housing in Informal Settlements – Habitat for Humanity, www.habitat.org/sites/default/files/documents/Home-Equals-Launch-Report_Full.pdf. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.
OHCHR | Home, www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Issues/Housing/Housingfinancing/Belgium.doc. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.
“Transitmigration and Urban Arrival Infrastructures in Belgium and the Netherlands.” Transitmigration and Urban Arrival Infrastructures in Belgium and the Netherlands | Research Portal, 1 Sept. 2021, researchportal.be/en/project/transitmigration-and-urban-arrival-infrastructures-belgium-and-netherlands.
“Transitmigration and Urban Arrival Infrastructures in Belgium and the Netherlands.” Transitmigration and Urban Arrival Infrastructures in Belgium and the Netherlands | Research Portal, 1 Sept. 2021, researchportal.be/en/project/transitmigration-and-urban-arrival-infrastructures-belgium-and-netherlands.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 12:18:22 216.11.121.174

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Ethiopia
Delegate Name: Kathryn Macey

11/18/23
Submitted to: United Nations Development Programme
From: Ethiopia
Subject: Informal Settlements

As the world’s population grows and becomes increasingly urbanized, the issues presented by informal settlements have become more pressing. Housing development in urban areas has been unable to accommodate the influx of people with available and affordable housing. As a result, a growing number of people are forced to live in informal settlements, which are unauthorized by the government and often have unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Ethiopia is committed to creating solutions so that urban populations are able to live in safe and secure environments. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the largest percentage of people living in informal settlements. A majority of Ethiopia’s urban population lives in what can be classified as informal settlements. Ethiopia and other nations with large percentages of the urban population living in informal settlements ask that the international community provide aid in order to address this issue.

Due to the diversity of individual countries’ needs, conducting a variety of targeted pilot projects within urban areas of countries in need of aid will provide a basis for recommendations for a broader program. The problems raised by informal settlements are so widespread that a wide variety of potential solutions are necessary. Countries have different cultures, different religions, and different governmental structures meaning that the solutions that may be successful in one region would not be appropriate for another. Piloting diverse programs across diverse communities can create a path forward so that we can provide the most effective solution for each community.

One example is the World Bank’s “self-help” model that provides property rights and access to services, without giving a means to build housing, for people in sub-Saharan Africa who are living in informal settlements. Another example is the Cities Alliance, a non-profit that works on addressing informal settlements, which works with national and local authorities to supply funding and facilitate urban planning. We should try these programs and many more, focusing on investigating a wide variety of approaches to solving this problem.

The UN established the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in 2008 to involve affected communities in the urban planning process. In order to achieve the UN sustainable development goal by 2030, more funding is needed from the international community to invest in affected communities. To improve and prevent the growth of informal settlements, it is imperative that the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme be expanded so that the needs of a greater number of communities around the world are addressed. But in doing so, the results of a robust pilot project can lead the way forward to make sure that the enormous investment necessary is well spent.

Considering the growth of people living in informal settlements, Ethiopia encourages this body to act quickly to collect more funding so that pilot projects in various communities can begin. As more data is collected, the planning process for other communities will be better informed and, therefore, more efficient. To make a significant impact on the lives of the people living in informal settlements, these projects are dependent on foreign aid. The problem is urgent. The need is great. We must start now to aggressively address these issues and meet the challenge posed by rapid urbanization in countries like Ethiopia. Ethiopia looks forward to recognizing and remedying these issues in committee.

Bibliography:
“Goal 11.” Department of Economic and Social Affairs, https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal11. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

“The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP).” UN-Habitat, https://unhabitat.org/programme/the-participatory-slum-upgrading-programme-psup. Accessed 19 Nov. 2023.

Baye, Fentaw, et al. “Administrative Failures Contributing to the Proliferation and Growth of Informal Settlements in Ethiopia: The Case of Woldia Township.” Heliyon, vol. 9, no. 3, Feb. 2023, p. e13758, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e13758.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e13758.

“Cities Alliance.” Cities Alliance, https://www.citiesalliance.org/how-we-work/country-programmes/uganda-country-programme/overview. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

Thelwell, Kim. “Sub-Saharan African Slums: The Housing Crisis.” The Borgen Project, 2 Oct. 2020, https://borgenproject.org/sub-saharan-african-slums/#:~:text=The%20World%20Bank%20has%20funded,%E2%80%9Cself%2Dhelp%E2%80%9D%20models. Accessed 18 Nov. 2023.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/18/2023 22:23:23 68.32.206.49

Topic: 2023-Informal Settlements
Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Audrey Krajewski

United Nations Development Programme
Informal Housing
The Russian Federation
Audrey Krajewski

The Russian Federation recognises and is working to combat the challenges posed by informal settlements. As defined by the United Nations Development Programme, informal settlements are characterised as inadequate living conditions and often a lack of legal recognition, and likely requiring an international, multifaceted approach to reach a solution (“SDG Indicators…”). The Russian Federation is committed to encompassing legal frameworks, public campaigns, government originated housing programs, and collaborative initiatives with other nations to address the informal housing and urbanisation crises.
The Russian Federation has an extensive and comprehensive background of legal framework in place to regulate housing and address informal settlements within our borders. The Land Code of the Russian Federation defines land use and property rights, as well as lays out a streamlined process for obtaining property titles, making it easier for residents of informal settlements to formalise their housing arrangements (Land Code…). Furthermore, this accessibility to safe, legal and reliable housing, especially in urban areas, encourages the development of lawful housing throughout Russia (Land Code…). Furthermore, the Russian Federation has found success with our Affordable Housing and Urban Development Programme. On 21 September 2023 the Russian Federation approved a program targeting 300 million USD of funds to aid Russian families’ housing costs (Project Summary…). The Loan will support the supply-side of the housing market by addressing the shortage of affordable housing, and result in an increased number of people living in quality residential housing (Project Summary…). The Program is also forward thinking in nature, as it promotes the usage of energy efficient and innovative materials in housing being constructed for Russian families. The Russian Federation denounces resettling families elsewhere to provide them with formal housing. As a solution, the Russian Federation works collaboratively with its citizens to meet families where they are at, both financially and by location. Finally, The Russian Federation supports numerous campaigns that aim to dispel myths surrounding informal housing, promote legal compliance described in the Land Code, and encourage residents to engage with government programs (like AHUDP) that facilitate formal housing.
The Russian Federation has seen how important establishing formal settlements is to the well being of a nation and its citizens. The Russian Federation has established clear land regulations in our Land Code and developed legislative measures to provide citizens with sustainable and legal housing. The Russian Federation hopes to provide guidance to developing nations that are working to establish programmes to combat informal settlements, and is excited to work with our allies Belarus, China, India, Iran, North Korea, Kazakhstan and Syria, and the eternity of the United Nations Development Programme to eliminate informal settlements worldwide.

Work Cited
Blokhin, A., “Institutional Transformations of Russia’s Housing Construction Sector in 2020 – Studies on Russian Economic Development.” SpringerLink, Pleiades Publishing, 6 May 2021, link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1075700721020039.
Land Code of October 25, 2001, www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/rus_e/WTACCRUS58_LEG_26.pdf. Accessed 19 Nov. 2023.
Project Summary for Public Disclosure – New Development Bank, www.ndb.int/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Affordable-Housing-Program.pdf. Accessed 19 Nov. 2023.
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