Opening Day marked by raising of the UAE flag and UN flag together
Abu Dhabi, 8th February 2020: The Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF10) today launched the Assemblies element of its programme, at the forum’s opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi.
WUF10, which is taking place from today until 13 February 2020, is being held in the Arab world for the first time. The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) organised the event in partnership with UN-Habitat.
The Assemblies were opened on the first day of the World Urban Forum. To mark this special occasion a flag-raising ceremony for both the UAE and UN flags was carried out in tandem, which will both fly together outside Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre for the duration of WUF10. The flag-raising was attended by Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT); and H.E. Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, Executive Director of Strategic Affairs at DMT and General Coordinator of the 10th World Urban Forum.
There were five assemblies which included:
This event focused upon the potential of the business community to deliver on urban development objectives and ways that the business community can be constructively engaged in strategic development planning. The conversation focused upon traditional business sectors including, real estate, transport, construction, technology, industry, commonly engaged in urban development – to now engaging financial institutions, including banks, and private equity/equity markets in redefining how to shift their fiscal priorities towards sustainable urbanisation.
This was a key meeting point for groups working to build sustainable, gender-responsive and inclusive cities. It served as a space to share and report on the role women play in culture and innovation in “Cities of Opportunities”. Promoting participation, dialogue and engagement, the Assembly included trainings, plenary sessions, networking opportunities, and brought together specialists on gender equality and innovation in sustainable urban development.
The Urban Youth Assembly is being held at a critical point in time for sustainable urbanisation. The Climate Emergency has meant that young people, led by Greta Thunberg, have protested globally against climate change inaction. This assembly addressed inequality and the failure of governance at all levels to address climate change, with youth and their use of culture in all its forms being a driving force for change.
The Grassroots Assembly provided a platform to give voice to communities including, the most vulnerable to provide inputs into the accelerated implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the “Urban Goal”, SDG11. In line with the theme of the World Urban Forum “Connecting Culture and Innovation”, the grassroots assembly provided a platform for grassroots organisations, community leaders and their partners to reflect on the needs and opportunities to ensure that local knowledge, innovations, and diversity are always taken into consideration in the development agenda.
World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments
This Assembly addressed how cities are connecting culture and innovation as key tools to implement both the New Urban Agenda and Agenda 2030, as well as how local and regional governments are pioneers in highlighting the role of culture in sustainable urban development. This event was co-organised by UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments, bringing the voice of Mayors, Governments and city networks to the 10th session of the World Urban Forum.
During the course of this week, WUF10 will welcome more than 20,000 international visitors representing more than 160 countries. The hosting of WUF10 presents a significant opportunity for Abu Dhabi and the UAE to showcase its achievements and role in promoting and implementing sustainable urban development, as Abu Dhabi continues to take considerable steps towards being at the forefront of smart and sustainable cities.
The UN-Habitat conference aims to raise awareness on sustainable urbanisation in cities and liveability across the globe. The forum provides a platform for decision-makers, businesses, urban experts and academics to share their expertise and create sustainable urban development and smart cities of the future.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
As the host city, Abu Dhabi aims to make WUF10 the most attended and diverse World Urban Forum, since its establishment in 2001.
The DMT is working in close collaboration with UN-Habitat as well as the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to ensure the forum is a success.