12 December 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Cities Can Be Engine of Social Equity, Economic Opportunity,


Secretary-General Says at Photo-Op Event


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the sustainable cities photo-op, in New York, 12 December:

Distinguished Ministers, Governors and Mayors, I am delighted to join you today.  I thank you for your commitment to sustainable urbanization.

By the middle of this century, 70 per cent of all people will be living in cities.  Almost all urban growth will be in developing countries.  The challenges are immense.  But the opportunities are even greater.

Cities can be the engine of social equity and economic opportunity.  They can help us reduce our carbon footprint and protect the global environment.

That is why it is so important that we work together to build the capacity of mayors and all those concerned in planning and running sustainable cities.

Building sustainable cities — and a sustainable future — will need open dialogue among all branches of national, regional and local government.  And it will need the engagement of all stakeholders — including the private sector and civil society, and especially the poor and marginalized.

I commend the members of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments.  I am delighted to see how you are contributing constructive proposals to the post-2015 development agenda and preparations for Habitat III.

All around the world, we see cities developing exciting new solutions.  Let us learn from each other so we can replicate and scale up what works.  Let us work together for sustainable cities and a sustainable future for all.

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For information media • not an official record