Nairobi: Policymakers, mayors, academics, business people, community leaders, artists and urban planners are among the thousands of participants attending the world’s leading conference on urbanization, the World Urban Forum, in Abu Dhabi next month.
It will be the first time that the World Urban Forum, which is convened by the UN agency focused on sustainable urbanization, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), will take place in the Arab region. This, the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 10), will run from 8 – 13 February.
UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif said:” The world has really changed since the first World Urban Forum back in 2002. Urbanization is now recognized as one of the defining trends of the times. But ultimately the aim has remained constant – to promote transformative change to improve living conditions for everyone.”
The theme of the World Urban Forum this year is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’. A culture which brings together knowledge, art, belief, capabilities, habits, morals and behaviours, is widely recognized as playing a key role in the growth and development of cities.
Alongside High-Level Dialogues and Roundtables, there are Assemblies for young people, women, local and regional governments, grassroots communities and business, as well as 400 events hosted by partners. WUF 10 features an Urban Expo with over 170 exhibitors from 66 countries, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Zone, an Urban Library and the UN-Habitat Better Cities Film Festival.
A Special Session on Voluntary Local Reviews, hosted by UN-Habitat and the City of New York will discuss how cities can report their progress towards the SDGs, share best practices and encourage new cities to join the movement.
Some 50 Mayors and Governors have confirmed their attendance so far from cities in Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America. A similar number of Ministers have already confirmed along with high-level representatives from 15 UN agencies and several award-winning architects. There are only ten years left to achieve the SDGs by the target date of 2030. WUF10 will be the first major UN event of the Decade of Action which starts this month and calls for accelerating sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.
Registration for WUF10 is open to everyone, free of charge and is open online until 31 January 2020.