UN chief calls for 'opportunity for all' in World Cities Day message

Tehran, Oct 31, IRNA – How the cities develop will have significant implications for realizing the desired future, said United Nations Secretary-General in a message on World Cities Day on Wednesday.

'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the New Urban Agenda together provide a road map for a more sustainable and resilient world,' said António Guterres on World Cities Day observed on October 31.

Saying that this year’s World Cities Day focuses on resilience and sustainability, Guterres added, 'Every week, 1.4 million people move to cities. Such rapid urbanization can strain local capacities, contributing to increased risk from natural and human-made disasters.'

'But, hazards do not need to become disasters. The answer is to build resilience — to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises.'

Adding that some cities around the world are already acting to increase resilience and sustainability, the Guterres gave examples to inspire the world.

Bangkok, the Thai capital, has built vast underground water storage facilities to cope with increased flood risk and save water for drier periods, Quito, the capital of Ecuador, has reclaimed or protected more than 200,000 hectares of land to boost flood protection, reduce erosion and safeguard the city’s freshwater supply and biodiversity, and Johannesburg, South African capital, is involving residents in efforts to improve public spaces so they can be safely used for recreation, sports, community events and services such as free medical care, he said.

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