Nairobi, May 2021 – UN-Habitat has just released an update on the progress made by partners on their commitments during the premier world conference on sustainable urbanization, the World Urban Forum (WUF) last year 

At the end of the Tenth Session of the Forum which took place in Abu Dhabi, representatives of stakeholder and partner groups committed themselves to various voluntary actions to implement the New Urban Agenda, a roadmap for planning urban development, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These were known as The Abu
Dhabi Declared Actions
and support the objectives of 10 of the 17 SDGs with a focus on Goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 17  on Partnerships for the Goals.

The pledges were made by international organizations, national, local and regional governments, civil societies, grassroots communities, women, youth and other disadvantaged groups, the private sector and academic institutions.  

A year after WUF10 UN-Habitat invited its partners to share their progress on the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions on its the Urban Agenda Platform – an online knowledge portal developed by UN-Habitat for global, regional, national and local stakeholders to share reports, best practices and data on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

As of March 2021, all declared actions were populated representing collaboration and cooperation among 40 global partners. UN-Habitat’s report, The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions: one year of implementation, highlights 24 of these actions some of which are outlined  below.

At WUF10 Fiji’s Prime Minister, Mr. Frank Bainimarama committed to his country reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  Earlier this year, the Prime Minister reaffirmed this commitment by announcing that a ground-breaking climate change bill would soon be introduced.   

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and its partners committed to helping local governments achieve risk-informed development at the local level by implementing sound and inclusive strategies for disaster risk reduction.  UNDRR and its partners have developed and innovative website that offers a three-stage resilience roadmap to guide cities on how to improve resilience over time.  The platform is delivering on UNDRR’s commitment by connecting cities with private sector service providers, offering gratis and fee-based services, through a searchable listing.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners  committed to projects including developing urban planning in line with environmental sustainability indicators, strengthening municipal capacities for service provision and improving the livelihoods of the urban poor.  UNDP is working on projects which focus on the use of green technology, transport, and improved waste management. 

At WUF10 representatives of United Cities and Local Governments network (UCLG) made various  commitments and is strengthening its capacity to implement, review, and follow up on the NUA, give culture a more prominent position in the localisation of the SDGs and promote equality.  UCLG launched the “Seven Keys” programme in 2020 to promote the cultural dimension in the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative, in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure, the Rwandan Ministry of Local Government and The Prince’s Foundation hosted an online programme on sustainable urbanization in the Commonwealth which attracted more than 2000 participants.  This followed their Commitment to advance sustainable urbanization within the Commonwealth. 

In the run-up to WUF11 which will be hosted in Katowice, Poland next year, UN-Habitat will continue to encourage its partners to report on progress on the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, so they can celebrate successes, share lessons learned and continue to build a community of practices that support sustainable urban development.

At WUF11, partners will have an opportunity to show how they are fulfilling their pledges to ensure cities are more inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

Learn more about the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions one year on in this video.