The second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly kicked off in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday, with delegates renewing the call for concerted efforts to regenerate urban centers.
NAIROBI, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly kicked off in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Monday, with delegates renewing the call for concerted efforts to regenerate urban centers.
It is imperative that the international community accelerates urban renewal in order to achieve green, inclusive and resilient growth, said Kenyan President William Ruto in his opening speech.
The pursuit of sustainable urbanization, said Ruto, is urgent to enable the urban poor to have access to decent shelter, clean drinking water, sanitation and healthcare services.
Ruto said Kenya was committed to implementing affordable housing, regeneration of green spaces, waste management and expanding access to clean mobility as a means to realize sustainable urbanization.
An estimated 5,000 delegates from 193 UN member states, industry, civil society and academia will attend the five-day meeting, themed "A sustainable urban future through inclusive and effective multilateralism: achieving the sustainable development goals in times of global crises."
During the meeting, participants would discuss urban climate action, affordable housing, localization of sustainable development goals, finance and urban crises recovery.
On the sidelines of the assembly, there will be an urban expo where more than 50 exhibitors will showcase innovative solutions to challenges facing cities, including waste pollution and inadequate access to shelter.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his video address to the assembly underscored the critical role of a robust multilateral system to renew cities and place them at the heart of green transition.
The assembly is the United Nations' highest decision-making organ on urban issues. The second edition of the meeting is expected to adopt a ministerial declaration on advancing sustainable urbanization.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, said the assembly takes place amid global consensus on the need to intensify action on the climate crisis, pollution, poverty and inequalities that are taking a heavier toll on rapidly growing cities.
"Let us flip the script on urbanization. We need to harness the talent in cities and communities to reshape financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," Sharif said.