It gives me great pleasure to greet the many mayors and local authorities who have gathered to talk about sustainable cities. As agreed at the Rio+20 Summit, and as can be seen day by day through the innovative steps being taken in the world’s cities and towns, local Governments have a crucial role to play in steering the world towards a path of truly sustainable and equitable urban development.
We need the commitment of the world’s mayors and local leaders if we are to ensure better lives for the growing numbers of people who inhabit the world’s cities. We need your dynamism in accelerating our work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline -- building on the remarkable gains to date, including improvements in the lives of more than 100 million slum-dwellers. We need your vision in addressing climate change, a paramount threat. And we need your voices to be heard as we define a transformative post-2015 development agenda.
I congratulate the National Association of Mayors – the Frente Nacional de Prefeitos -- for promoting this important meeting of Brazilian mayors on urban sustainability. Thank you for your support of the United Nations, and please accept my best wishes for a productive event.