Nay Pyi Taw, 22 October 2019 – UN-Habitat in partnership with the Department of Urban Housing and Development (DUHD) of the Ministry of Construction (MoC) of Myanmar jointly hosted “The Consultation Workshop on National Urban Policy (NUP) for Myanmar”. The workshop was successfully held on 22nd October 2019 at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. This workshop was organized with the main objective to prioritize and finalize the policy options of the existing 5 policy priority areas previously identified in the National Urban Policy Framework (NUP-F) and to discuss and validate 3 newly added priority areas by the National Urban Committee and stakeholders.
The Workshop was graced by the presence of His Excellency Union Minister U Han Zaw of the MoC, relevant parliamentarians, representatives from all the fourteen States and Regions, Members of the National Urban Committee, the Director General of DUHD, senior DUHD officials, DUHD advisors, development partners, representatives from embassies, professional associations and the Urban Policy Experts from UN-Habitat Headquarters . A total of 150 persons participated in the workshop.
H.E U Han Zaw, the Union Minister delivered his opening remarks stating that “Today we embarked into the third round of NUP consultation with all the stakeholders with the objective to prioritize the policy options which are not just priority areas for the National Urban Policy but most vitally, harmonize with our country’s National Priorities such as the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), Myanmar Climate Change Policy and Myanmar Housing Policy.”
Mr. Bijay Karmacharya, Country Programme Manager of UN-Habitat in Myanmar in his welcoming remarks expressed gratitude to the participants for their dialogues for the finalization of the NUP priority areas. He highlighted that “This NUP will play a vital role in tackling the challenges of urbanization and to capitalize on its opportunities whilst addressing global agendas such as the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and therefore we need the opinions and recommendations of all the stakeholders to take this formulation work forward.”
Daw Aye Aye Myint, the Deputy Director General (DDG) from DUHD, delivered a presentation on urbanization and spatial distribution in Myanmar and brief background of five policy priority areas. The DDG outlined that the strategic development plans for three major cities (Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw) should be prepared in priority and at the same time the secondary urban centers development should also be oriented with proper investment allocations. She also expressed that NUP will act as guiding policy with the main vision for creation of spatially integrated and orderly developed urban settlements with adequate infrastructure, efficient institutions, legal framework and a sound living and working environment to support the socio-economic development of Myanmar.
The presentation was followed by the group discussions in which the participants actively debated on prioritizing policy options of the 5 priority areas which were identified in 2017; (a) municipal governance and finance, (b) urban and regional legislation, (c) land governance, (d) housing and (e) environmental and climate change issues related to urban development. Following the discussion, the outcomes and suggestions were presented by each group.
In the afternoon session, an advisor of the Myanmar Development Institute and senior officials from DUHD delivered presentations on the rationale for 3 new policy priority areas; (i) Balanced Spatial Distribution, (ii) Infrastructure and service provision, (iii) Socio-Economic Development. After the presentations, another group discussion were arranged to exchange ideas and views on the 3 new priority areas and to recommend policy actions. The outcome of the policy actions and suggestions of the group discussions were presented by each group.
The draft NUP is expected to be formulated and presented by early 2020.