The World Urban Forum is the largest United Nations conference on sustainable urban development and cities. Considered the world’s premier conference on cities, the Forum was created in 2002 to examine the most pressing issues facing the world today in human settlements, including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities, communities, economies, climate change and development.
The Forum is a non-legislative United Nations conference and participation is open to all. It draws a wide variety of experts from all over the world, such as: national governments, represented by heads of state
and ministers; regional governments; mayors; multilateral organizations; financial development institutions; academia; private sector; professionals; NGOs, and other civil society organizations.
The conference is held in a different city of the world, every two years and convened by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Programme on Human Settlements.
Here is the list of the World Urban Forum host cities, the theme and participants:
UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.
Cities are facing unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial challenges. There has been a phenomenal shift towards urbanization, with 6 out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Over 90 per cent of this growth will take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In the absence of effective urban planning, the consequences of this rapid urbanization will be dramatic. In many places around the world, the effects can already be felt: lack of proper housing and growth of slums, inadequate and outdated infrastructure – be it roads, public transport, water, sanitation, or electricity – escalating poverty and unemployment, safety and crime problems, pollution and health issues, as well as poorly managed natural or man-made disasters and other catastrophes due to the effects of climate change.
Working with partners in government, academia, civil society and the public and private sectors, UN-Habitat aims to expand understanding of inadequate shelter and poverty and to facilitate the tracking of progress
in urban development. It sets out norms and best practice for sustainable urbanization and urban poverty reduction, promoting realistic urban planning as the key to harnessing the economic potential of cities. Through the World Urban Campaign and a number of global programmes including technical cooperation, UN-Habitat carries out concrete poverty reduction activities on the ground, encouraging partnership between private and public sector actors to create targeted solutions to the challenge of chaotic urbanization.
The Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 7 – 13 February 2018. The conference is hosted by the Government of Malaysia and the City of Kuala Lumpur and coordinated by the WUF Secretariat, which sits in UN-Habitat. It will be the first large-scale event on urban development after the adoption of the New Urban Agenda at Habitat III and the first one to focus on its implementation.
The theme for WUF9 is Cities for All, Cities 2030: Implementing the New Urban Agenda
The theme aims to resonate to the realization of the vision of cities in the year 2030, embedded in Sustainable Development Goal 11, in which no one is left behind from the urban advantages and opportunities. The complementarity of the New Urban Agenda and SDG11 provides the opportunity to bring together a diverse range of partners and stakeholders to integrate policies and actions that address multiple urban related issues, and to develop integrated multi-level governance, territorial strategies and urban plans to achieve sustainable urban development.
“Cities 2030” promotes a future of cities and human settlements that are environmentally sustainable and resilient, socially inclusive, safe and violence-free, and economically productive, while territorially connected and contributing towards sustained rural development and prosperity.
“Cities for All” refers to the equal use and enjoyment of cities and human settlements, and seeks to promote inclusivity and ensure that all city’s inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.
In Kuala Lumpur heads of states, high-level national and sub-national government representatives will be present at the same table with representatives of the civil society, experts and the private sector, to discuss policies and actions, synergies and innovative solutions for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and to review and exchange mechanisms for its effective scale up.
In 2015 the United Nations Member States adopted The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, incorporating universal aspirations that go beyond what were the traditional areas of development. It establishes new sets of goals and targets addressing emerging concerns including elements that are today fundamental part of everyone’s lives while focusing on the root causes of poverty and inequality which undermine the achievement of the full human potential in harmony with a healthy environment.
The Sustainable Development Goals express a wide recognition of the spatial dimension of development. This is clearly translated in the incorporation of Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) “Make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. Other Goals, SDG1 End Poverty; SDG5 Gender Equality; SDG8 Sustained Economic Growth and Employment; SDG10 Reduced Inequalities; SDG12 Sustainable Consumption and Production; SDG13 Combat Climate Change and its impacts, and SDG15 Protect Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity, also have important urban dimensions to be considered and addressed to ensure and sustain their achievement.
With the adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, Member States have not only taken stock of the scale of the phenomenon of urbanization which now affects more than fifty per cent of the world’s population, but also the role of cities in the global economy, the climate change agenda, the use and consumption of natural resources, as well as their contribution to social advancement and innovations.
Other international frameworks addressing global concerns, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, are strongly interlinked with the dynamics of urban development.
The New Urban Agenda, adopted in 2016 and grounded on bold transformative commitments articulated across the three pillars of sustainability, provides a blue-print towards the achievement of sustainable urbanization and a qualitative roadmap for its effective implementation. It reasserts a positive notion of cities, demonstrating that if well planned and managed, urbanization can be a transformative force for inclusive prosperity and well-being, while protecting the environment and addressing climate change.
Using the impetus and compass of the New Urban Agenda, the cities of the future can be epicentres of an integrated territorial approach towards sustainability, where urbanization and high concentrations of people provide large efficiency benefits and generate jobs and opportunities for all, while serving as centers of production, services, knowledge and innovation.
To register as media please go to the regular registration page, http://wuf9.org/registration/ and select “Media” as your registration type.
After registration, please send your registration number and full name to Jeanette.email@example.com with a scanned copy of the following documents:
For freelance journalists or those not representing a specific media outlet, please contact Jeanette.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The WUF9 Media Centre has space and facilities for WUF9 accredited journalists with a WUF9 Media badge. The Media Centre located will remain open from 0730 to 2000 from 7 to 13 February.
All official press conferences and presentations to media will be held in the Press Room, located next to the Media Centre but available for all participants.
The Press Conference Room provides interpretation into English.
Press Conferences are streamed live on WUF9 TV and available at the Media Centre.
The Press Conference Room schedule will be updated daily on the
A media briefing session will be held each day 7 – 13 February at 0800 - 0830 in the press room highlighting the main interest sessions of the day.
The main press conference will take place every day at 1300 – 1400 in the press conference room
The main sessions will be live-streamed by UNTV and available to watch through www.wuf9.org and www.webtv.un.org
The Media Centre distributes press notes from UN-Habitat and our partners and any other type of information in a digital format on WUF9 website.
Limited printing facilities are available to registered media. As WUF9 is a papersmart conference, we discourage the mass printing of flyers and promotional material. Please liaise with the Media Team to discuss the digital promotion of material during the conference.
As one of the key stakeholders in urbanization and dissemination of the ideals of the New Urban Agenda, all registered media are invited to contribute to the Media Stakeholders Roundable. Outputs and recommendations from all the Roundtable sessions will be fed into the official report of WUF9.
The Media Roundtable will take place on Tuesday 13 February from 0900 to 1100
The UJA will take place on Saturday, 10 February from 10:00 to 12:00 in the Press Conference area. All registered media are encouraged to attend. If you are not accredited as Media but would be interested in attending, please contact Jeanette.email@example.com
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