Katowice, Poland

26 June 2022

Secretary-General's video message to the World Urban Forum

Watch the video: https://s3.amazonaws.com/downloads2.unmultimedia.org/public/video/evergreen/MSG+SG+/SG+7+Jun+22/MSG+SG+World+Urban+Forum+7+Jun+22.mp4

It is a pleasure to greet the World Urban Forum.

I thank Katowice for hosting this important conference – and allow me to also take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your extraordinary solidarity with Ukrainian refugees in their hour of greatest need.

Dear friends,

Cities are central to virtually every challenge we face – and essential to building a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.

They have been at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we look to recover, promoting more inclusive, gender responsive urban infrastructure and services will be critical to give all people – especially young people, women and girls – access to a better future.

The promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind depends on actions at the local level – it depends on actions in and by cities.

Cities generate more than 80 per cent of global GDP – and 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

They must be leaders of climate action to keep the 1.5 degrees goal within reach.

More and more cities across the world are committing to net zero by 2050 or before.

The sooner we translate these commitments into concrete actions, the sooner we will achieve green job growth, better health, and greater equality.

But cities cannot do it alone.

They need more coordinated support from all levels of government;

stronger partnerships with the private sector and civil society;

and greater fiscal and policy space to bring solutions to scale.

The United Nations is fully committed to working with you to connect the local with the global and together achieve green, just and healthy cities.

With the New Urban Agenda, the Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Local Coalition we have the blueprints for progress.

Let us harness the transformative potential of urbanization and build a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future for all.

Thank you.