UN Office for South-South Cooperation Assumes Leadership of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty

Jun 25, 2014

Fishermen from Gaza City head out to sea early in the morning. In order for cities to be sustainable and resilient, they should offer economic opportunities for all. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

GENEVA – 25 June 2014:  The Executive Steering Committee of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty today announced the Alliance’s secretariat and institutional home will move from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).

WACAP is a platform and network that facilitates the exchange of knowledge and best practices among mayors, municipal civil servants, innovative businesses, civil society representatives, women's organizations, and NGOs specialized in poverty reduction, urban development and access to services. The most recent biannual forum took place in Dublin, Ireland in February 2013.

Nader Ghazal, mayor of the City of Tripoli and active member of the WACAP network said the move from UNDP to the UN Office for South-South Cooperation makes perfect sense for WACAP,” said. “It will be good for the cities of the North and the South for the latter to be more involved in the international development architecture. We need to break the stereotype of the South being a region in need, but rather a region that is contributing to its own development, and to the development of its sister cities of the North.”

UNDP Assistant Administrator Michael O’Neill said UNDP will continue to support the Alliance, and to share best practice from its work in sustainable urban development and local governance with city members and other partners in the Alliance.

 “We are very excited to be working with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation,” said Francisco de la Torre Prados, Mayor of the City of Malaga, Spain and member of the WACAP Steering Committee, “and we are extremely grateful to UNDP for all the support it has given to the Alliance over the years.”

The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on South-South Cooperation and UNOSSC Director, Yiping Zhou, said his office is honored to assume the stewardship of WACAP. “The mandate given by the UN General Assembly to promote, facilitate and coordinate efforts in support to South-South and triangular cooperation on a global and UN-wide basis, gives this office a unique role in promoting city-to-city collaboration for mutual benefit”, he said.

“In the coming months”, said Zhou, “we will aim to set a new vision in the context of the emerging Post-2015 development agenda”. He added that “the new WACAP must engender a greater sense of ownership and leadership by its member cities. Its governance structure should be more democratic and inclusive, and its membership more broad-based to also include the private sector and civil society entities.” He stressed that “WACAP will ensure mayors from all regions can engage in meaningful contributions to make our cities – especially those in the Global South – cleaner and safer, more resilient and sustainable, more affordable, accessible and livable for all.”

Contact information

For more information: Adam Rogers, WACAP Coordinator, adam.rogers@undp.org; tel: +41 22 917 8541 or mobile- +41 97 849 0679.

About UNDP: UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

About UNOSSC: The UNOSSC works to facilitate the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries.  Currently more than US$5 trillion in reserves are held by countries of the global South, which now also account for 47 per cent of global trade. This unparalleled economic development opportunity could be one of the main engines of growth in the years ahead.

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