Press release

Mayor of Victoria attends ECOSOC Integration in New York dealing with sustainable urbanisation and development

June 9, 2014

The Mayor of Victoria, Mrs. Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, in her capacity as the Co President of the United Cities and Local Governments – World (UCLG), attended the 2014 UN Economic and Social Council,  (ECOSOC) Integration segment in New York to discuss the importance of sustainable urbanisation in development.

The ECOSOC integration segment is a platform under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council to address the interplay of the three dimensions of sustainable development-the economic, social and environmental dimensions-while also paying particular attention to other cross-cutting issues such as gender, science and technology, trade and finance.

During the three-day event, focus was put on the role of sustainable urbanization which is considerably being seen as not only a demographic phenomenon but also a transformative force shaping all societies.

Some of the key topics addressed by the multidisciplinary panels in New York were urbanization policies, urban inequalities, cities as drivers of sustainable development, and effective governance and partnerships for sustainable urbanisation. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of developing partnerships with civil society and the need to utilize the transformative potential of cities in order to bridge inequalities.

The Mayor was a panellist for the discussions on the sustainable urbanization in Africa. She emphasized the opportunity that Africa carries in leading innovations towards greener, healthier and more sustainable urban societies.

“We have the opportunity to create societies closely linked to our cultures and values; original and unique while respecting the shared visions and principles with our global partners” declared the Mayor.

She also emphasised the need for “accountable, transparent, well-governed, efficient and adequately resourced local governments are the key to the sustainable development of Africa” while also advocating for “Specific attention needs to be given to women and girls in cities and urban areas, where they generally live in more vulnerable conditions”.

The UN Secretary General, the Vice-President of ECOSOC, and the President of the UN General Assembly also participated in the meetings, which featured keynote speakers including Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister for Local Government of Ghana; Mohand Laenser, Minister for Planning and Development of Morocco; and Michael Bloomberg former Mayor of New York, UN Envoy for Cities and Climate Change , among others. Civil society and private sector representatives were also present.