Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the twenty-sixth session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), in Nairobi today:
Thank you to all participants at this UN-Habitat Governing Council for your commitment to a more sustainable future.
We live in a century of unprecedented urban growth. For the first time in history, cities are home to more than half of humanity. By 2050, 2 out of every 3 people on Earth will live in urban areas.
I welcome your focus on implementing the New Urban Agenda, which can foster greener, cleaner, safer and more inclusive cities.
With the right approach, urbanization can address inequality, economic stagnation, climate change and disasters.
That will advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
To realize a life of dignity for all, we need cities that are free of crime, pollution and poverty — cities where diversity is celebrated and the social fabric is strong.
We will work together with the Governing Council to strengthen UN-Habitat’s capabilities to support countries in realizing this vision.