By 2030, Pakistan’s population is expected to reach 260 million and half of the population will live in urban areas, making cities central to climate action, prosperity, peace, and human rights. To transform our world and our country, we must transform our cities. Cities are at the center of economic development and offer a prosperous future through its ever-increasing hubs of energy, innovation, and economic dynamism. At the same time cities also generate number of ill effects such as crime, pollution, and poverty, etc. Investment in cities is therefore the key to progress across societies, and this realization has built the momentum across the globe to strive for a better urban future.
The New Urban Agenda, which was adopted in the recently concluded Habitat III conference in Ecuador, provides a vision for cities that are just, safe, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable, marking a milestone in setting global standards for sustainable urban development, and sparking new thinking on how we plan, manage, and live in cities.This New Urban Agenda will put sustainable urbanization at the centre of our efforts to eliminate poverty and achieve development and prosperity for alland will contribute to the achievement of objectives of the Pakistan Vision 2025 and Framework for Economic Growth.
Within the United Nations system, UN-Habitat is the focal agency for all urbanization and human settlement matters. In Pakistan, the agency emphasizes on improving the lives of the people of by carefully tapping opportunities in harnessing the economic and social potentials of Pakistan’s cities for growth and development and in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. UN-Habitat, along with the other UN agencies in Pakistan, will continue working closely with the Government, particularly with national and local institutions and leadership, and with the development partners and actors,in implementing the Sustainable Development Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda towards promoting inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Pakistan cities.
In celebration of the World Cities Day every 31st of October, UN-Habitat aims to create awareness on the challenges and benefits of sustainable urbanization, promote this year’s theme of “Inclusive Cities, Shared Development”, and highlight the important role of urbanization as a source of global developmentand social inclusion.
With continued support from the Government of Pakistan and its people, along with UN-Habitat’s excellent partners in development work, I am confident that we contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals and make a better urban future. On World Cities Day, let us renew our resolve to confront urban problems and forge lasting solutions. Together, we can show how success in Pakistan cities inspires change across the world.