Bangkok, 4 August 2015-- Fifty multi-sector participants from 14 Asia-Pacific countries and development partners in the region recently converged at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand for a Partners Workshop on strengthening partnerships for sustainable urban development in Asia and the Pacific region.

The workshop was jointly organized by UN-Habitat and UNESCAP, through UN-Habitat’s Strengthening Partnerships for Sustainable Urban Development in Asia Pacific Project (SPP-Asia).

The goal of the event was to:

  1. Launch the strengthening partnerships programme in the region
  2. Facilitate a mutual learning and build the capacity of a variety of multi-stake holder partnerships
  3. Debate viable strategies in empowering stakeholders on national urban policy making
  4. Identify linkages between the approach of the programme and other ongoing regional initiatives that promote sustainable urban development

The workshop offered a platform for participants to share unique expertise and experience, and exchange knowledge from peers in advancing sustainable urban development through inclusivity and other best practices.

Key insightful presentations made included ‘the Road ahead for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Urban Development’, ‘New politics of Partnerships’ and ‘Contextualizing the Global for the Local Advancing Global Urban Agenda on the Ground in Asia and the Pacific’.

Participants expressed commitment to steps laid out under the programme and implementation strategies at both country and regional level.

The event had five discussion groups comprising national governments, local authorities and networks of cities, civil society, academia, and development partners. Through these groups, the participants identified their unique strengths, benefits, needs and strategies of partnerships in advancing sustainable urban development in the region.

The need to invest in partnerships and to improve on the quality of partnerships was highlighted as the most essential steps towards achieving a new urban agenda.

The workshop received positive participant evaluation feedback, a reassurance to the secretariat to continue engaging with diverse stakeholders of urban development and human settlement issue at national, regional and global level.

Way Forward

The sixth Asia Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-6) Expert Group Meeting (EGM) held immediately after, had an enthusiastic discussion on partnership-based innovative approaches to the implementation of a new urban agenda.

Through its collaboration with the APUF-6 secretariat in the forum’s preparations and at the event, the project has been able to secure an opportunity to hold a session and sponsor participants especially those from the pro poor organizations, to APUF-6 scheduled to take place in October 2015 as well as negotiate participation at other forthcoming regional and global level platforms.

A detailed ‘Asia-Pacific Partners Voices’ publication is being developed by the UN-Habitat’s Partners and Inter-agency Coordination Branch and the Bangkok Office shared with all partners from the region and also made available on the UN-Habitat website.