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World's largest urbanisation forum to kick off in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, January 26, 2020

Leading policy makers, mayors, academics, business people, community leaders, artists and urban planners will be in Abu Dhabi next month for the world’s leading conference which is being held in the Arab region for the first time.
 
The 10th session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 10), which is convened by the UN agency focused on sustainable urbanisation, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), will run from February 8 to 13, said the organisers, The Department of Municipalities and Transportation (DMT). 
 
Established in 2001, the World Urban Forum is the world’s premier gathering on urban issues. The forum examines the impact of rapid urbanisation and its implications for social, economic and environmental policies in communities, cities and towns.
 
The forum will bring together some 20,000 delegates from more than 150 countries. It will provide an opportunity to strengthen relationships and engagement and demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating sustainable and context-based practices in developed and developing countries.
 
The theme this year is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’. Culture which brings together knowledge, art, belief, capabilities, habits, morals and behaviours, and is widely recognized as playing a key role in the growth and development of cities, stated DMT. 
 
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.
 
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," she noted.
 
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. 
 
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, she stated.
 
Some 50 mayors and hovernors 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.
 
According to Sharif, there are only 10 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, she noted.  
 
Registration for WUF10 is open to everyone, free of charge and is open online until January 31, she added.-TradeArabia News Service



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