World Urban Forum opens with call for equity in developmentListen /
The 7th session of the World Urban Forum opened on Monday night in the Colombian city of Medellín, with a call for action to create a new urban model for the 21st century, in order to achieve more sustainable, inclusive, productive and more equitable cities.
In a recorded video message, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, appealed for a new urban agenda that leaves no one behind
"Our world is increasingly urban. This presents great opportunities for sustainable development, equitable social progress, inclusive economic growth and sound environmental structure"
Mr. Ban, however, noted that despite these opportunities, there still are profound challenges, which include rising urban inequality.
He called on the participants at the Forum to make inclusive development and eradication of poverty the focus of their week-long discussions.
"All over the world, cities and towns are divided along social, cultural and economic lines. People are denied the opportunities for better life that the urban environment can and should offer. We need inclusive development to eradicate extreme poverty"
In addition to serving as a prime opportunity to discuss the state of the cities today, the Seventh session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7) is being considered as an integral part of the preparation for the urban agenda for the UN Habitat III in 2016, which will be one of the first global conferences after the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Joshua Mmali, reporting from the World Urban Forum in Medellín, Colombia.