World Cities Day China Observance / News

2023 World Cities Day China Observance and the third SDG Cities Global Conference SDG Cities Hub and Practice Seminar opens |  Updated:2023-11-06

The SDG Cities Hub and Practice Seminar, part of the third SDG Cities Global Conference, was held on Oct 28at Tongji University, Shanghai. UN officials, government leaders, industrial experts and professionals from all over the world attended the seminar to discuss various issues related to Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Douglas Ragan, programmemanagement officer of SDG Cities at UN-Habitat, hosted the event. The organization mainly facilitates global collaboration to enable cities to accelerate work on achieving the SDGs and improve the quality of life. It offers a systematic way to support cities to become sustainable and resilient by connecting a value chain of data; inclusive, evidence-based strategic planning; strengthening the capacity of local institutions; and developing and financing highimpact projects.

At the beginning of the event, the UN-Habitat’s adviser reviewed the institution’s development over the past several years. He stressed on the need to accelerate work on achieving the SDGs across the world despite the disruption caused COVID-19, regional conflicts and other issues. “SDGs are part of the global agenda.We can't afford to let anyone be left behind as our goal is to create a society where everyone can enjoy harmony and live with nature,” he said. 

He said his organization hoped to empower people to shape the future together, and also noted the specific tasks needed, such as updating local plans and regulations, working on the technical issues, and promulgating initiatives that can have a significant impact.

Gabriela Aguilera, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ecuador spoke of the country’s efforts in handling the shelter problem, improving drinking water supply, and promulgating policies for equality, labor protection and sustainable development. 

George Ofori-Atta, head of non-tax policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Ghana, presented the African country’s Smart SDG Cities Hubmodel and experiences. Ghana emphasized the localization and digitalization of its SDGs. He said it started with a smart city pilot project in Kyebi and created a unique model for developing smart city master plans. Moreover, the country, together with Norway, built a national technical center to serve its digital transition of SDGs. 

Maricela Hernandez Ruiz, Chief of Office of the Executive Presidency of the Institute of Development and Municipal Advisory (IFAM) from Costa Rica, shared the country’s experience in promoting SDGs. Based on the guideline promulgated by the central government, the local authorities created their own work agendas to voluntarily carry out the implementation. Thanks to good communications, innovation and vitality, the SDGs were well received throughout the South American country. 

Also, Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is dedicated to realizing its SDGs. Marta Dutschmann Gomes,Councillor of Municipality of Mafra, Portugal, showcased the city’s library, tourist resorts and picturesque scenery, catching the eyes of all participants. 

There was also a presentation of Malaysia by Norliza Hashim, CEO of Urbanice of Malaysia. As early as 2015, Malaysia launched its policies on SDGs. And a national SDGs progress report wasproduced every two years. The Southeast Asian country rolled out its SDGs through a stable pyramid organization - two state-level SDG committees at the top, 17 task forces in the middle, 155 local governments and 300 urban centers at the bottom, facilitating the smooth operation of the entire program and the efficient collaboration of all stakeholders.

Finally, the host summarized the discussion and proposed questions for further consideration.  

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