The world’s premier meeting on the future of cities ends with stirring call to action

Lowering of the flag ceremony at the close of WUF10 Far left Dena Assaf, Victor Kisob, H.E Mohamed Al Khadar, Maimunah Sharif, Malgorzata Jarosinska-Jedynak and Martha Delgado
Lowering of the flag ceremony at the close of WUF10 Far left Dena Assaf, Victor Kisob, H.E Mohamed Al Khadar, Maimunah Sharif, Malgorzata Jarosinska-Jedynak and Martha Delgado

 

Abu Dhabi, 13 February 2020 – The Tenth World Urban Forum, which attracted over 13,000 attendees taking part in more than 540 official events, has drawn to a close with a call for united action to ensure a better future for cities and towns.

The UN-Habitat Executive Director, Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, told the Closing Ceremony that during six-day meeting, delegates from all walks of life had insisted on the importance of a common goal of leaving a legacy of a better world for future generations.

The UN-Habitat Assembly President and Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, Ms. Martha Delgado, who co-chaired the Advisory Group which put together the final WUF10 Declaration, called the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, said they had listened to participants thoughts, wishes and aspirations.

The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, which was read out, includes commitments from international organizations, national, local and regional governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and others for the next two years and beyond to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015.

The UN-Habitat Executive Director said at all of the Sustainable Development Goals came together in ‘urban’ goal SDG 11 aimed at achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“Through the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, we now have the what, how and when components as well,” said Ms Sharif.

The Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport and General Coordinator of WUF10, H.E. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, said their job with UN-Habitat was “not to only masterplan our cities we want to masterpiece our cities and that’s a big difference.”

Other speakers at the Closing Ceremony included the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Mr. Mukhisa Kituyi, who talked about the importance of bringing all sectors together to think afresh on overcoming challenges and the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Preparations for the Seventy-Fifth United Nations Anniversary, Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond, who said it was inspirational to see the mixture of idealism, practical reflection, lessons learnt and suggestions for action.

In a video message the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Tiijani Muhammad-Bande, referred to the WUF10 theme of the Cities of Opportunities: Linking Culture and Innovation saying “We must take urgent action to utilise culture and innovation as an accelerator of SDG implementation if we are to create a better world for all.”

Launch of WUF11 with representatives from Poland UN-Habitat and Abu Dhabi
Launch of WUF11 with representatives from Poland UN-Habitat and Abu Dhabi

 

The UN-Habitat Executive Director announced that the next World Urban Forum (WUF) in 2022 would be held in Katowice, Poland – the first time WUF has been held in Central Eastern Europe

The Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy of the Republic of Poland Ms. Malgorzata Jarosinska-Jedynak said they wanted to show the urban transformation that has taken place in Central Eastern Europe in the last 30 years.

“In Katowice we want to talk about just transformation, about changes that leave no one behind,” she said inviting all the delegates to participate in WUF11, which she said would be a “historic event”.

Ms. Shayma Al Mughairy performs a live sand drawing at the #WUF10 closing ceremony
Ms. Shayma Al Mughairy performs a live sand drawing at the #WUF10 closing ceremony