6 October 2020, Surabaya, Indonesia - UN-Habitat launched the online Urban Agenda Platform for reporting progress, sharing action and knowledge in the Decade of Action during the high level Global Observance of the World Habitat Day 2020 celebrations.
Following the launch by the UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif at the opening ceremony, a Roundtable event to discuss the Urban Agenda Platform in depth on the second day brought together some 240 participants from across the world. These included representatives from national and local governments, civil society, the United Nations System, intergovernmental organizations and other stakeholder groups.
The Roundtable, called The launch of the Urban Agenda Platform: Reporting progress and sharing knowledge in the Decade of Action, was moderated by Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Panelists focused on importance of the Platform as a tool for reporting progress and sharing best practices, the need for accelerating actions to implement the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and how to maximize the relevance of the Platform including addressing the digital divide.
The UN-Habitat Executive Director opened the event highlighting the significance of the Urban Agenda Platform for the preparation of the next UN Secretary General’s Quadrennial Report on the Progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, to be published in 2022. She called for partnerships to further build content and engagement by all stakeholders on the Platform, noting the importance to co-creation of information.
The Executive Director stated that “this knowledge platform will contribute to participatory and evidence-based policy making, necessary to achieve the cities we want.”
Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, stated that: “Reporting progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda matters a lot to any Member State because it is through the reporting that we can assess and evaluate our performance, progress level on the stipulated commitments, goals and indicators.”
The Polish Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak emphasized the need for stakeholder collaboration to ensure the success of the platform. “The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is in the hands of governments around the world. The fact is that we shall not achieve this without the determined and sustained effort undertaken by different stakeholders,” she said.
The Roundtable drew attention to the current COVID-19 response, and the need for resilient, inclusive, gender-equal and green economic recovery. Participants noted the importance of addressing the digital divide and finding ways for those without digital access to also engage and share the efforts and progress on implementing the New Urban Agenda.
Sri Sofjan, representing the Huairou Commission and member of UN-Habitat’s Advisory Group on Gender Issues (AGGI) highlighted that “the Urban Agenda Platform provides the opportunity for an inclusive space of recognition and contribution by all stakeholders.”
On the occasion of the Launch, the first part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda online course has also been released, and available for use on the Platform.