Summit of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty
Rotterdam chosen to host global meeting in February 2010
Geneva/ Rotterdam – The United Nations Development Programme and the City of Rotterdam today announced the venue for the 2010 World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty. The Alliance is a worldwide network of cities set up by UNDP to help municipalities face up to the challenge of poverty on the spot.
Previous WACAP forums have taken place in Athens (2008), Valencia (2006), Rome (2004), Huy (2002), Geneva (2000), and Lyon (1998). The 7th Global Forum, operating under the title ‘Confronting the Crisis Collectively: Working Together to End Poverty’ will take place 24-26 February 2010 in Rotterdam.
The forum will involve the active participation of a wide range of partners, including UN organizations (UNDP, UNEP, UN-HABITAT, UNCDF, UNITAR, UNICEF, WHO, FAO), the European Union, Associations of Regions, Club of Madrid, Clinton Initiative, NGOs and the private sector. Approximately 1,500 participants are expected, including a considerable number of mayors from major cities around the world, officials and European Commissioners from the European Union, the UN and other international organisations, most of which belong to the worldwide network World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP).
Mohand Cherifi, executive coordinator of WACAP, said the forums give municipal authorities from every continent the opportunity to meet and discuss common challenges, and also to keep in touch with other key players in the fight against poverty. “It gives them the opportunity to obtain direct information on the successful experiments of other municipalities and thus enable and empower them to respond to local challenges more effectively,” he said at a press conference today in Rotterdam. “The forums also provide a framework for pooling human, material and financial resources in order to achieve specific objectives that make it possible to reduce poverty and reduce its effects.”
Jantine Kriens, Alderman for Health, Welfare and Public Assistance in Rotterdam said one of the challenges the Rotterdam conference hopes to address is how to prevent individual countries from abandoning a more outward, global focus in favour of a more withdrawn, isolationist stance as countries and regions around the world deal with the various ongoing political, social and economic crises. “We must combine efforts wherever possible and see to achieving positive results both at home and abroad,” she said.