KATOWICE: Cities are "central to virtually every challenge we confront, and it is essential to building a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future", UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said in a video message.
Guterres made the comments at the opening of the 11th World Urban Forum,which was held on Monday in Katowicze, southern Poland.
The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the premier global conference on sustainable urbanisation.
The Covid-19 pandemic "has been on the frontlines of cities," he claimed. To maintain the 1.5 degree Celsius target attainable, they must also serve as leaders in the fight against climate change. The theme of the 11th World Urban Forum is "Transforming our cities for a better urban future," said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN under-secretary-general and executive director of the UN-Habitat of the UN Human Settlements Program.
A special session on post-crisis and post-disaster urban space rebuilding and population return will also be held. UN-Habitat organises the WUF, which takes place every two years. This year, the event is anticipated to draw more than 16,000 participants.