Fukuoka 9 August 2018, Fukuoka – Thirty-two city leaders from 16 countries recently gathered for the 12th Asian-Pacific City Summit to discuss “sustainable cities and communities” addressing SDG11.  The summit was co-organized by Fukuoka City and UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) on 1 - 3 August 2018.

Mr. Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka City, opened the Summit by saying “through the network of cities in Asia and the Pacific, I hope we will find a new value to solve urban issues.”

Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, delivered the keynote speech on Sustainable Cities and Communities. Outlining urbanization opportunities and challenges, Ms. Sharif highlighted SDG11 to make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, as well as New Urban Agenda (NUA).

“As a focal point on sustainable urbanization, one of UN-Habitat’s key roles is to localize and support member states to implement the urban dimensions of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda” she stressed the importance of investing better tools and capacity to monitor urbanization, agreeing on definition of “CITY”, establishing partnerships and integrated holistic policies.

Ms. Sharif also mentioned the “Fukuoka Method”- a semi-aerobic sanitary landfill – which was implemented in Kiambu, Kenya as an example of solutions to environmental degradation.

The Executive Director concluded her speech by reiterating UN-Habitat’s commitment to collaborate with various partners around the world in implementing and localizing the SDGs and implementing NUA.

This was Ms. Sharif’s first visit to Japan as the Executive Director of UN-Habitat.  During her stay, she met with various partners at national and local levels as well as visiting a business start-up facility (Fukuoka Growth next) and the Rinkai 3R Station.