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Global Forum on Human Settlements calls for urban innovation toward achieving SDG 11

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The Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) 2018 concluded at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok as participants gathered to commemorate World Cities Day on October 31.

The two-day meeting organized under the theme Advancing Urban Innovations to Achieve SDG 11 and New Urban Agenda drew over 400 participants from more than 40 countries to conclude the observance of Urban October. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities is a cornerstone of localizing the 17 SDGs.

High-level stakeholders expressed commitments to support sustainable and resilient cities through innovation, green growth and well-designed policies to maximize the benefits of local actions. As a highlight of the Forum, the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA) Ceremony 2018 was presented to 36 winners. The awardees have significantly contributed to sustainable cities and human settlements at the community level.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Chairman of GFHS and former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative highlighted that the magnitude of urban challenges can be overcome to foster parallel opportunities. “If cities are hubs of dynamism, change and opportunity, they are also places of exploitation, disease and unemployment. As world leaders, we are committed to Sustainable Development Goal 11 in the 2030 Agenda – to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”