What is the GAP, and Why Should I Join?

world urban campaign logoThe General Assembly of Partners (GAP) is a special independent civil society initiative of the World Urban Campaign, an advocacy and partnership platform that works under the leadership of UN-Habitat’s Executive Director. GAP aims to support stakeholders’ engagement and contributions to the October 2016 Habitat III conference. It consists of 16 Partner Constituent Groups (PCG) with members from the United Nations’ major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

GAP held its inaugural meeting on April 13, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it adopted its Constitution and By-­laws. It elected the PCG chairs and engaged a process of outreach to all PCG constituencies. GAP adopted the Nairobi Declaration that outlines its commitment to adding civil society voices to the Habitat III process, particularly as it relates to the development of the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document of Habitat III.

After many advocacy efforts, GAP Older Persons PCG was admitted as the #15 civil society group member with GAP #16 Persons with Disabilities PCG added this past July.

What does membership in GAP Older Persons PCG entail?

Members have no obligations beyond registering to become either an individual or organizational member via the www.habitat3.org website. Anyone can join. Co-chairs Katherine Kline (AARP) and Mr. Sion Jones (HelpAge International) represent the group at official Habitat III events and make statements on its behalf. They do so in conjunction with the team of experts (like you) who receive periodical email status reports on Habitat III policy issues and are invited to contribute their knowledge and expertise as appropriate (for statements, panels, side events, etc).

Why should I join?

As someone with real expertise in different areas of ageing, particularly as they relate to the broad vision on the New Urban Agenda, you can greatly enhance our knowledge, contribute to a growing recognition of the intersection of global ageing with global urbanization and be able to showcase key lessons learned and successes that you/your organization have experienced.

It is very likely that the GAP will continue beyond Habitat III in Quito as implementation has been stressed as the critical factor in impacting global urbanization, not the creation of a document and a UN conference.