New York, 21 September 2016 - UN-Habitat hosted a dialogue with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on financing cities to implement the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 11.
UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Asia Kirabo Kyacira opened the event highlighting the recently completed draft New Urban Agenda and introducing opening remarks by the Secretary General of OECD, Angel Gurria; Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos; Rwanda Minister of Natural Resources ; and Mahmoud Mohieldin, Vice President for the 2030 Agenda, UN Relations and Partnerships at the World Bank .
Opening remarks were followed by a panel experts chaired by Marco Kamiya, Coordinator of the Urban Economy and Finance Branch, UN-Habitat, including: Director of the OECD Development Centre, Mario Pezzini; Ford Foundation Senior Advisor and Professor of International Urban Planning at NYU, Ana Marie Argilagos; Director of Local Development Finance Practice Area, David Jackson; and Professor of International Affairs at The New School, Michael Cohen.
Special attention was given to cities in Africa where the urban population is projected to double by 2035. The infrastructure financing needs of African cities are especially dire where the infrastructure investment gap is contributing to non-inclusive, unplanned, and unsafe urbanization not conducive to productive sector vitality and durability.
Due to lack of resources, many municipal governments in Africa are facing enormous financing challenges when it comes to urban infrastructure and planning. Many of the speakers spoke in favor of creating partnerships with private sector entities and NGOs in an effort to provide support to municipalities especially in developing countries that are grappling with rapid urbanization.
The OECD Development Centre and UN-Habitat concluded the event jointly stating their dedication to working together in the creation of a Policy Dialogue on Financing Cities, which will provide city leaders in Africa and elsewhere support in the development of innovative solutions to financing urbanization and implementing the New Urban Agenda.
The next joint meeting with UN-Habitat and OECD on the Policy Dialogue for Financing Cities will be on September 28, 2016 in Paris.