After a gap of 10 years, India was on Monday unanimously elected the president of the UN-Habitat, an arm of the United Nations that promotes sustainable human settlements across the world, for the next two years. After 1988 and 2007, this is the third time India has been elected to lead the council, according to PTI.

Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will chair the four-day meeting of the 58-member Governing Council in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for the 26th session is ‘Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda’. “Delighted to be elected as president of governing council of UN-Habitat and chair. An opportunity to work towards a new urban future,” he tweeted. Naidu will also chair the ‘Bureau Meeting of the Asia- Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development’.

Commenting on the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was sure that Naidu would give his best and contribute towards creating futuristic cities. “Congratulations Venkaiah ji. I am sure you will give your best and contribute towards creating futuristic cities,” Modi tweeted.

During his address to the council, Naidu presented India’s case and how the government has been able to achieve integrated, inclusive and sustainable urban development through schemes like Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. He urged the council members to come up with strategies to improve the living and housing situation in developing countries.

The task of the governing council is to promote comprehensive approach to human settlements, help countries tackle related problems and strengthen cooperation among them. The UN-Habitat, which was formed in 1978, reports to the United Nations General Assembly.