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August 2019
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United Nations Relations

Opening Session - 10th Global Forum on Human Settlements

A World Platform for Dialogue on Sustainable Urbanization.
Theme: "From SDGs to New Urban Agenda - Usher in a New Era for Sustainable City and Sustainable Urbanization”.

Chair: Dr. Taj Hamad, Vice Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements, Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation International

· Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Chairman of GFHS, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative
· H. E. Mr. Mamadou Tangara,Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Gambia to the United Nations
· H.E. Mr. Desra Percaya, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
· H.E. Mr. Kingsley Mamabolo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations (tbc)
· Mr. Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP
· Ms. Yamina Djacta, Head, New York Office, UN-HABITAT
· Observance ceremony for "World Cities Day 2015”—My City, My Dream

More session videos available:
Session 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
Session 5
Closing Session

For the full report go to the Global Forum on Human Settlements Website:
http://www.gfhsforum.org/english/News20111125.htm


On the evening of October 30, 2015, EST, the two-day 10th Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS-X) and the 10th Anniversary Celebration of GFHS lowered the curtain with fruitful results in ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York. With the theme of “From Sustainable Development Goals to New Urban Agenda – Usher in a New Era for Sustainable City and Sustainable Urbanization”, the meeting attracted around 300 participants from different countries the world over, ranging from diplomats to local government representatives, the UN officials, enterprise principals, specialists and scholars, NGO leaders, and to the women and children representatives. The event also served as an observance of the “World Cities Day 2015”.

Jointly organized by the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Permanent Mission of Gambia to the UN, Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN,supported by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Universal Peace Federation, as well as other UN agencies and Permanent Missions to the UN, the Forum was aimed at implementing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, making contributions to the birth of New Urban Agenda, and greeting the coming of the World Cities Day.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Chairman of GFHS, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative indicated at the opening session that the year of 2015 is a turning point for the world to fully steer towards sustainable development, and just a month ago, heads of all the countries in the world had adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN General Assembly. Also, the year of 2015 is a pivotal year for the preparation for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and the formulation of the New Urban Agenda. It is meaningful that the Forum occurs at the UN headquarters in the eve of World Cities Day 2015 and was meant to provide a high-level dialogue platform for related urban stakeholders to promote a rapid and effective implementation of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals especially Goal 11 “Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable” at the regional and urban level, to actively make contributions to the preparation of Habitat III and the formulation of the New Urban Agenda, and to push forward the exchange and cooperation among urban stakeholders. The related Ambassadors and the representative from UN-Habitat, UNEP, UNDESA also delivered speeches.

Mr. Lu Haifeng, GFHS Secretary General and main representative to the UN, shared at the 10th anniversary of GFHS his feelings,efforts as well as hardship of starting and building up the Global Forum on Human Settlements over the past ten years, and expressed gratitude to the firm supporters and partners. He disclosed that NGOs have been playing an irreplaceable role in educating, coordinating, and facilitating the partnership between the public and private sectors.The interested partners are welcome to join the Global Forum on Human Settlements which is an open platform for dialogue and cooperation. GFHS will carry forward its commitment of building sustainable cities, improving human settlements, and promoting the implementation of post-2015 sustainable development goals at the local level.

Major distinguished guests and speakers attending the Forum included: H. E. Mr. Tete Antonio, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Africa Union to the United Nations; H. E. Mr. Mamadou Tangara, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Gambia to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Desra Percaya, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations; H. E. Diego Morejon Pazmino, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations and some other permanent representatives to the UN. Moreover, Ms. Yamina Djacta, Head of New York Office, UN-HABITAT; Mr. Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP; Mr. Mohammad Reza Salamat, Officer-in-Charge and Editor-in-Chief of Natural Resources Forum (NRF), SIDS, Oceans and Climate Branch, DSD, UN DESA, Dr. Taj Hamad, Vice Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements; Dr. Eckart Würzner, mayor of Heidelberg City, Germany; Ye Meifeng, mayor of Jiangshan City, China and other national and local government leaders also attended the Forum. Furthermore, Dr. Awni Behnam, Honorable President of International Ocean Institute; Mr. Serge Salat, President of Urban Morphology and Complex Systems Institute, Paris, France; Mr. Hitesh Mehta, UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award winner and Eco-Travel Designer; Professor Patricia L. McCarney, President and CEO of World Council on City Data and Director of Global Cities Institute and other international organization leaders, Urban planners and designers and specialists and scholars were also present at the Forum.

In accordance with the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and the framework of New Urban Agenda, the Forum set out the themes of Interconnected Greener City, Scientific Planning and Design and Sustainable Human Settlements, Sustainable Tourism and Urban Renewal and Women and Children in the Rapidly Urbanizing World, and the urban stakeholders had fruitful discussions about them. In addition, a consultation was specially arranged for ambassadors, city mayors, investors and entrepreneurs of relevant countries to enhance exchanges and cooperation, establish partnerships, and to butt joints for more specific cooperation and build up more effective teamwork.

Upon dialogues and communication among policy-makers, specialists and designers, builders, investors, residents and representatives of the vulnerable groups from all over the world, the Forum passed the outcome document which emphasizes integrating the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals with urban development strategies and putting into effective practice, and conducting education and enlightenment, statutory regulating and incentive policy making through multi-pronged approaches, while shedding light on urban low-carbon development strategies, social stability and economic vitality promotion, coastal cities and human settlements, urban equity and appropriate and adequate housing supply, urban security and resilience, rights and interests of women and children, interconnected greener cities, green building, and green lifestyle, etc. The outcome document will be submitted to the UN General Assembly, UN ECOSOC and the secretariat of Habitat III.

In the meanwhile, this year is also the 10th anniversary of the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS). A decade has passed with a mere snap of the fingers while the brainchild has been carefully nurtured. With a Green Dream and tenacious will, GFHS is still marching through trials and hardships and opening up the future. A passionate poetry recitation of “Coming along the Way” by Chinese and American teenagers preluded the 10th Anniversary Ceremony, which expressed the GFHS pioneers’ feelings of arduousness, perseverance and delightfulness for the cause, and their determination to carry the Green Cause through to the end. The organizer also selected 10 ten deputies from the ten annual forums participants and presented to them specially-made silver medals in commendation of their support and contributions for the Human Settlements Cause, among them many are city leaders, entrepreneurs, and specialists; they are all keen followers of the Forum and some of them have participated in the Forum for as many as 8 sessions. A bunch of Chinese painters and calligraphers had created a large gathering of works of art which by the same token, added copious colors to the pageant taken place at the United Nations.

As one of the most significant part of the yearly meeting, the Global Human Settlements Award Ceremony was held simultaneously, where the “10th Global Human Settlements Award” winners were magnificently made known on 29th night, which elated the front-runners to emotionally glitter like stars in the New York night sky. City of Heidelberg, Germany and City of Jiangshan, China were laurelled as the Global Green City. Huangguoshu Waterfall Scenic Area, China; Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka; Xiuyuan River Scenic Area in Zhangqiu, Shandong, China; and Mission Hills Huayi-Brothers Feng Xiaogang Movie Themed Town, China were awarded “Global Low-Carbon Ecological Scenic Spot”. Medellin River Parks, Colombia; Zero Carbon Resorts Demonstration Building, Philippines; and Nanjing Qinglongshan International Ecocity, China were given Global Human Settlements Award on Planning and Design. The Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA; Mission Hills Centreville, Shenzhen, China; and the Gentleman Villa, Guangxi, China were honored as the Global Human Settlements Model of Residential Area. Shandong Branch of Huadian Power International Corporation Limited, China; West Africa Green Energy Group, Town of Nguekokh, Senegal; and Changsha Dongyou Energy Conservation Co., Ltd, China won the prize of Global Human Settlements Model of Green Technology. Southern California Association of Governments, USA; Hitesh Mehta, President of HM Design; and Stella Shiu, Chair of Sam Wa International Investment Group Ltd. were given the Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award. Three Chinese youngsters: Li Jian, Chen Zongqi, and Ouyang Keyi were honoured as the Global Little Green Guard. Delightfully, all the winners came onto the UN podium and received the awards and congratulations presented by the ambassadors and UN officials.

According to the organizer, the 11th Global Forum on Human Settlements will be held in Ecuador’s capital Quito in October 2016, as a parallel event of Habitat III, to collectively witness the birth of New Urban Agenda. From New York to Quito, they move forwards with love.

One Earth, One Dream. To realize the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals and build interconnected greener cities require each and every one of us to participate in and make unremitting endeavor. The successfully holding of the 10th Global Forum on Human Settlements and GFHS 10th Anniversary Ceremony gives us reasons to firmly believe that the change of perception of urban stakeholders and the dialogues and effective actions will surely usher in a new era for sustainable city and sustainable urbanization and meet a more beautiful tomorrow.

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