12 Oct 2016
Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
During the Habitat III conference, UN Member States will adopt a New Urban Agenda (NUA) that will guide the sustainable development efforts of cities and territories for the next 20 years.
For the first time in history, over half of the world’s population is living in urban areas. Latin America and the Caribbean, where 80 percent of people live in cities, is often cited as the world’s most urbanized region. This urbanization is both a great opportunity and a great challenge for sustainable human development. These opportunities and challenges will be discussed during the Habitat III World Conference in Quito, Ecuador. Habitat III comes one year after adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which, for the first time, includes a pledge dedicated to cities: Sustainable Development Goal 11 aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Cities have a crucial role to play in the achievement of the new 2030 Agenda. For example, without leadership by cities and territories it is impossible to decrease poverty, reduce inequality or achieve effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. Simply put, if we don’t take into account the local dimension, it will be more difficult to the dichotomy of the city – formal and informal, safe and unsafe, accessible for some and inaccessible for others. …