Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on Saturday that his country is “more than happy” to host in its capital Quito the 2016 U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, or Habitat III, which officially kicks off on Monday and and runs until 20 October.
"This is a sign to the world that Ecuador does not give up, still standing and nothing and nobody can stop us," said Correa adding that his administration kept its commitment to host the international summit despite the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated the country eight months ago.
During his weekly televised address, Correa welcomed to the delegations of more than 193 countries that will attend Habitat III, and praised the fact that such an important conference is taking place in the so-called Global South for the very first time.
Habitat takes place every 20 years with the aim of set a new global urban agenda.
Joan Clos, who is Executive Director of U.N.-Habitat, has said that urban planning and development can help the world tackle the “huge strategic issues facing the planet."