Third World Urban Forum (WUF3)
19-23 June 2006 | Vancouver, Canada
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Web coverage:
Monday, 19 June - Tuesday, 20 June - Wednesday, 21 June - Thursday, 22 June - Friday, 23 June

Highlights for Friday, 23 June 2006

On Friday, participants at the third session of the World Urban Forum (WUF3) convened in two special sessions to explore the future of the world’s cities and ideas emerging from WUF3. Delegates then attended the closing plenary and ceremony, which featured addresses by UN-HABITAT and its partners, numerous artistic performances, and a special presentation on Nanjing, the host city of WUF4.

Special session: from Vancouver to Nanjing
Michael Harcourt, Chair of the External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities, Wang Guangtao, China's Minister of Construction

Brock Carlton, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, moderated the special session

Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, Tibaijuka clarified that UN-HABITAT works for all human settlements

Martin Lilja, Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development, stressed the need for urban modernization that integrates the economic, social and ecological dimensions of sustainable development

Michael Harcourt, Chair of the External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities, stressed he centrality of urban governance and participatory approaches to planning

L-R: Martin Lilja, Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development, Lu Bing, Deputy Mayor of Nanjing, and Fu Bing, Shanghai Land Development Group

Wang Guangtao, China's Minister of Construction, urged balanced development between urban and rural areas; economic and social needs, and man and nature

Panel session. L-R: Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT, Michael Harcourt, Chair of the External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities, Wang Guangtao, China's Minister of Construction, and Wu Zhiqiang, Tongji University

Special session on the future of cities

Rose Molokoane, South African Homeless People’s Federation, discussed the need for security of tenure and called for slum dwellers to fully participate in developing government agendas

Janice Perlman, Megacities Project, discussed the changes of favelas of Rio de Janeiro over the past 30 years

Audience listened attentively during the discussion panel on the future of cities

Ben Malor, UN Radio, moderated the session on the future of cities

Panel of session on the future of cities. L-R: Xuemei Bai, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, David Satterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and Development, Rose Molokoane, Slum Dwellers International, and Clive Harridge, Town Planning Institute

Xuemei Bai, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, described urban growth in China where there are more than 660 cities with a total population of 500 million, expected to grow to 900 million in twenty years

Ajane Mackin, India's Minister of State for Urban Development, stressed energy efficient growth through subsidized public transport and sustainable urban planning

Clive Harridge, Town Planning Institute, discussed his concerns regarding the car-based Western cities with huge ecological footprint, slum proliferation and poverty

Closing of the Forum

John Kaputin, Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, said that ACP represents 79 countries, and that it is working with the EU to reduce and eradicate poverty while contributing to sustainable development of cities

Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO, on behalf of UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, urged delegates to turn WUF3’s global commitments into local action

John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzania’s Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, WUF3 Co-Chair, presented the WUF3 Report on behalf of his Co-Chair, Diane Finley, Canada’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, explaining it as a review of key issues emerging from the dialogues, roundtables and other WUF3 sessions

Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General, UNESCO, said as a forum, WUF is about networking, learning and sharing, and therefore has no real “closure” but will continue when delegates return home to turn words into action
John Kaputin, Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, said ACP is concerned with implementing the MDGs on health, education and employment and is contributing to a slum-upgrading project implemented by UN-HABITAT
Participants then heard closing remarks by UN-HABITAT partners. Representing civil society, Mariam Sow, ENDA Tiers Monde, recognized the many urban initiatives but noted continuing problems of social and economic exclusion. She stressed linkages between cities and the countryside, noted it was impossible to have livable cities without sustainable rural development, and said she hoped Africa could host WUF5. She then presented a gift to Anna Tibaijuka and Lois Jackson.
Representing the private sector, Kim Jawanda, Terra Housing, said tremendous gains could be achieved when the private sector engaged in partnerships with communities and governments to improve cities

Youth representative, Mernosh Tajhizadeh, Quebec Youth, presented the Declaration of the World Youth Forum, held immediately prior to WUF3, at which youth from around the world shared strategies for urban development

Wang Guangtao, China’s Minister of Construction, said his country is implementing a sustainable development strategy, which assigns high priority to energy, natural resources and environment, using a scientific, human-centered development model. He urged balanced development between urban and rural areas; economic and social needs, and man and nature.

Lu Bing, Deputy Mayor of Nanjing
L-R: Wang Guangtao, China’s Minister of Construction; Anna Tibaijuka, Under Secretary-General, United Nations; Executive Director UN-HABITAT, Kenya; James Moore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works, Canada; and Lois Jackson, Chair, Greater Vancouver Regional District
In response to criticism that WUF needs to improve gender and age balance on panels, Anna Tibaijuka, Under Secretary-General, United Nations; Executive Director UN-HABITAT, Kenya, said although current composition reflects the reality, it is within our power to change societal norms
Moderator Brock Carlton, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, challenged participants to comment on what course should be set on the road to WUF4 in Nanjing, China. He noted several key themes: localizing MDGs; empowerment of under-represented groups; security; mobilization of resources; local governments as international players; and building partnerships.
Lois Jackson, Chair, Greater Vancouver Regional District, noted that urban migration is caused by both lack of rural opportunities and the lure of the city, and urged each participant to chose one concrete action to implement after returning home
James Moore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works, Canada, noted the contribution of Canadian agencies in development work, and called on participants to draw strength from cultural diversity when putting ideas into action, and officially closed the Forum at 1:20 pm.

Your IISD team. Front row (L-R): Xenya Cherny, writer/team leader, Russia, Leila Mead, photographer, United States of America, and Sabrina Shaw, writer, Canada. Back row (L-R): Diego Noguera, digital editor, Colombia, Nancy Williams, logistics coordinator, United States of America, William McPherson, writer, United States of America, Bo-Alex Fredvik, digital editor, Brazil/Canada, Peter Wood, writer, Canada, Sarah Stewart Johnson, writer, United States of America, Leonie Gordon, writer, United Kingdom, and Kunbao Xia, writer, China

Web coverage:
Monday, 19 June - Tuesday, 20 June - Wednesday, 21 June - Thursday, 22 June - Friday, 23 June
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