New York: Cities are essential to building a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.
"They have been at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic," the UN Chief said in his video message to the World Urban Forum on Sunday.
According to him, the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind depends on actions at the local level – it depends on actions in and by cities.
Cities generate more than 80 percent of global GDP – and 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
"They must be leaders of climate action to keep the 1.5 degrees goal within reach. More and more cities across the world are committing to net zero by 2050 or before. The sooner we translate these commitments into concrete actions, the sooner we will achieve green job growth, better health, and greater equality," he said.
"As we look to recover, promoting more inclusive, gender responsive urban infrastructure and services will be critical to give all people – especially young people, women and girls – access to a better future," he stated.
The WUF was established in 2001 by the UN to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
The first WUF was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002 and has been held around the world ever since.
Held in Katowice, Poland on June 26-30, WUF11 is co-organized by UN-Habitat, Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Municipal Office of Katowice.