Sustainable Development depends "in large part" on better cities: UN chief

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Pedestrian waits to cross in Mumbai, India. Photo: Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends "in large part" on making the world's cities "inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable".

That's according to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in a message for World Habitat Day, marked on 3 October.

The Secretary-General urged governments, city planners and communities everywhere, to keep "housing at the centre" of policymaking.

Priyanka Shankar reports.

The 21st Century has been an era of rapid urbanisation, with towns and cities -expanding in an unplanned manner, said Mr Ban.

This means an increasing number of people who move to urban areas in search of a better future, end up living in slums or informal settlements, without access to basic amenities.

On October 3, 2016, in recognition of World Habitat Day, the UN focuses on "Housing at the Centre", promoting the idea that everyone deserves the right to live in a decent place with adequate access to basic services like food, water and health care.

Joan Clos, the executive director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) explains, in his video message to mark the day.

 "Adequate housing is a universal human right and should be at the centre of urban policy. It is part of the right to an adequate standard of living and it means much more than just having four walls and a roof." 

Later this month, world leaders will meet in Quito, Ecuador for the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

Leaders will discuss how cities and human settlements could be made inclusive, safe and sustainable, whilst embarking towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Duration: 1’27″

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