Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi today:
It is a pleasure to greet the World Urban Forum. I thank Abu Dhabi for hosting this gathering, the first time it has been held in the Arab region.
Urbanization is one of the megatrends of our times. And steering it well will help us address global challenges such as climate change. But cities suffer from high rates of inequality. In 2018, one in four urban residents lived in slum-like conditions, while only half of urban residents had convenient access to public transport. Urban inequality is also gendered; women are often more dependent on public transport to move around the city.
As we embark on a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s cities, towns and communities will be at the heart of this work. The United Nations counts on local and national leaders, businesses, civil society and other partners to help provide solutions to global threats, including the climate emergency.
I encourage all of you to commit to ambitious actions to implement the New Urban Agenda. Together, let’s make sustainable urbanization a reality and ensure that no one and no place is left behind.