The UfM at the Ninth World Urban Forum: Towards Implementing the New Urban Agenda in the Euro-Mediterranean Region
Kuala Lumpur, 10 February 2018. The UfM Secretariat held today in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the UfM Networking Event: “Towards implementing the New Urban Agenda in the Euro-Mediterranean Region”, in the framework of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) in continued efforts to raise awareness about the UfM Urban Agenda (#UfMUrbanAgenda) with a view to ensuring a more sustainable urban future in the Euro-Mediterranean region and beyond.
This Networking Event chaired by Amb. Ihab Fahmy, UfM Deputy Secretary General, and organised in cooperation with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), brought together representatives of several UN agencies and other key partner organisations and IFIs, such as UN WOMEN, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNECE, OECD, the World Bank, GIZ and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), as well as urban development actors and potential partners active in the Euro-Mediterranean region, with a view to generating new ideas and innovative solutions to effectively implement the New Urban Agenda in the region. Thus, enabling the Mediterranean Agenda to contribute to the advancement of the global Sustainable Development Agenda.
The UfM Networking Event contributed to further increasing synergies and coordination amongst key actors, with a view to fostering linkages between the UfM, the European, the Arab, and the New Urban Agendas, and in exchanging views on innovative financing mechanisms for priority projects and initiatives to enhance Sustainable Urban Development in the region.
This event comes a few months after the launch of the First UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups in Brussels on 9 November 2017. Gathering high-level representatives of the UfM Member States as well as key institutional and financial partners, the Platform represented the first concrete step towards implementing the UfM Urban Agenda and provided a good opportunity to discuss innovative and sustainable solutions, promote better knowledge and best practices on common urban development priorities, and identify new bankable and sound projects that would be replicated in the region.
As a first concrete outcome of the UfM Networking Event, UN-Habitat, UNDP, UN Women and UN Environment expressed their support to the UfM Urban Agenda, as a means to contribute to addressing regional challenges and opportunities for sustainable urbanisation in the region, as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly but not limited to SDG11 to “make cities and human settlements, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.
This support will build upon the collaboration currently underway between the aforementioned UN agencies and the UfM Secretariat, with a view to consolidating a regional partnership for the implementation of the UfM Urban Agenda, as a platform for engaging a UN system wide collaboration at regional and inter-regional scale in addressing socio-economic and environmental aspects of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the New Urban Agenda, towards achieving sustainable urban development in line with goals and principles adopted by Member States.
A joint agreement specifying the areas of collaboration will be elaborated and signed between all the parties in the coming months, as a substantive and operational support to the implementation of the UfM Urban Agenda.
On the margins on the WUF9, UfM DSG Amb. Fahmy participated in Networking Event “Multi-Lateral Development Banks’ Regional and Thematic Initiatives Towards the #NewUrbanAgenda with the EIB, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the New Development Bank (NDB) and the World Bank, as well as GIZ and UITP, which served to promote UfM activities with a view to fostering the implementation of the #UfMUrbanAgenda and sustainable urban mobility solutions in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Amb. Fahmy also held several bilateral meetings with heads of regional and international partner organisations, IFIs and donors participating in WUF9.
WUF9 is recognized as the foremost global arena for interaction among policymakers, local government leaders, non-governmental organizations and expert practitioners in the field of sustainable urban development and human settlements. The forum gathered 22.000 participants from 165 countries, among them more than 100 Ministers and Deputy Ministers and a wide range of experts from every walk of life including but not limited to national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media and United Nations organizations and other international agencies, who debated concrete implementation steps and how to work together building the Cities 2030, the Cities for All.
The Kuala Lumpur Declaration on cities 2030 represents the international community’s commitment to localize and scale up the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Led by a strong spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation, the participants to the forum share aspirations for the future of Cities 2030 as the Cities for all. To this end, participants called for the deployment of all efforts, means and resources available towards the operationalization of the concept of cities for all, ensuring that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.
The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will take place in Abu Dhabi in 2020.
- Second UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Cairo, 22 May 2017)-Declaration
- UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development (Brussels, 9 November 2017)
- World Urban Forum