Asia and Pacific Regional Partners Forum shows progress towards implementing New Urban Agenda

By on 12/05/2017

© ESCAP/Suwat Chancharoensuk

UN-Habitat and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) jointly convened the second regional partners forum in Bangkok, Thailand on  28-29 November 2017. On the agenda for this meeting was the deliberation on strategies and priorities to ensure the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in the Asia Pacific region.  This was done as a follow up to the adoption to the New Urban Agenda at the Habitat III conference in Quito in the month of October 2016.

The NUA builds up on other development agendas and this regional forum had an easy time linking it to the 2030 Sustainable Agenda. Regional experts analyzed the commitments under the New Urban Agenda as a part of SDG implementation

“Cities in the Asia and Pacific region have become the center of innovation and prosperity but urban transformation over the past two decades is still incomplete and fundamentally unsustainable. We all recognize that no single entity can work alone to deliver the New Urban Agenda” Curt Carrigan said in his opening remarks to the partners’ forum where a diverse group of stakeholders from 17 Asia pacific countries were gathered.

Governments are moving forward with the implementation of the NUA with many taking multi-stakeholders partnerships into consideration as they monitor implementation progress.  Professor Paul Jones a professor from the university of Sydney in attendance  is quoted to have said “Listening to other people’s points of view will give us an opportunity to see if there’s more ways to include human rights into policies and the  New Urban Agenda ” This is such an important reason to bring different stakeholders together. Civil society had a place with government at the table and a fruitful exchange of best practices.  Effective action through partnerships at all levels is required to deliver on the NUA.

Stakeholder representatives shared tools that are working in their countries and communities that are helping to localize the NUA. Representatives from Indonesia put forward good example of translating it to a local language in a bid to link the NUA to the national level. This fosters a sense of ownership in communities and reinforces the obligation we have towards a better future.

The meeting closed with a Partners Guidance draft in Asia and the Pacific to ensure the implementation of the NUA through strengthening the national enabling environment for cities. This guidance draft was also followed up by a timeline for further stakeholder consultation and collaboration.

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