HLPF 2018: Review of SDG#11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are the cradles of human civilisations. Currently more than half of the world’s population live in urban areas, consuming 75% of natural resources and emitting 60% of global greenhouse gases. Thus, the socio-economic well-being of human settlements remain the key pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The forum reviewed the implementation of SDG#11 and provided key policy recommendations to improve the socio-economic well-being of human settlements. It began with addressing the alarming urban sprawl and dwelling slums in East and Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Member states were thus called upon to prioritise housing to eliminate the homeless, not left to the realms of unregulated property markets and lucrative private developers.

The forum then followed up briefings on reliable and sustainable public transport. Regarding road safety, it was emphasised that road safety considerations must be integrated with sustainable transport and mobility in the urban settings. Member states were highly encouraged to design public transport in line with the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and cater the needs of vulnerable groups around the world.

The forum continued with briefings on urban environmental problems. Panellists attributed to these problems to urban decay and uncontrolled urban sprawl. These problems include pollution mainly from air, water and land. International communities were asked to leverage technologies to alleviate urban environmental problems and combat climate change. They were also called upon to design parks, sidewalks and streets to improve quality green infrastructure.

Meeting:
HLPF 2018: Review of SDGs implementation: SDG#11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Date/Location:
Wednesday 11th July 2018; 15:00 to 18:00; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speaker(s):
H.E. Mr. Marc Pecsteen, Vice-President of ECOSOC Presentations
Mr. Benjamin Rae, Sustainable Development Goal Monitoring Section, Statistics Division of UN DESA
Ms. Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Moderator
Mr. Rohit T. Aggarwala, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public
Affairs at Columbia University Panellists
Ms. Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner in Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, New York City, US
Mr. Jean Todt, Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety Annotated Programme
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT
Ms. Meera AlShaikh, Project Manager and member of the SDG 11 Global Council, Smart Dubai, UAE Lead discussants
Mr. Wim Dries, Mayor of the city of Genk and President of the Flemish Association of Local Councils, Belgium
Ms. Shaila Shahid, International Centre for Climate Change and Development as Coordinator Gender and Climate Change (ICCCAD) (Women’s Major Group)

Written by: WIT Representative LAU Chun Ki

Fifteenth Annual International Human Rights Summit

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(Source: author)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights marks its seventieth anniversary this year. In recognition of international efforts to advocate human rights, the Human Rights Summit aimed to improve the state of human rights in respective nations and communities.

First, panellists underscored the importance of defending human rights in bringing about peace and social cohesion. The international community has been called upon to embrace the values of human rights, social justice and the rule of law. Unless concerted efforts are made to safeguard human rights, the international community shall have failed in its collective responsibility to promote peacebuilding, social cohesion and community resilience.

Second, the summit addressed local issues on human rights to eradicate injustice and inequality. From the perspective of police forces, Mr. Ricky S. Veerappan from Canada and Mr. Charalambos Philippides from Cyprus outlined how their police forces have established education centres to implement age-appropriate human rights measures. From the perspective of non-governmental organisations, they have introduced outreach programmes focusing on fair education, sanitary care for females, empowerment for youths and democratic citizenship. They have drawn international attention to marginalised, vulnerable social groups around the world, including children, youths, women and the elderly. Representatives from war-affiliated countries, such as Afghanistan, Syria and Sudan, further advocated that human rights are the cornerstone of achieving long-term conflict resolution.

Meeting:
Fifteenth Annual International Human Rights Summit (co-organised by the Permanent Missions of Australia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Morocco and Romania)

Date/Location:
Friday 6th July 2018; 10:00 to 13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speaker(s):
Ms. Mary Shuttleworth, President, Youth for Human Rights International
H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organisation of American States
Ms. Mihaela Mecea, Third Secretary, Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations
Mr. Ricky S. Veerappan, Police Superintendent, York Regional Police, Canada
Mr. Charalambos Philippides, Deputy Director of European Union and International Police Cooperation Directorate, Cyprus Police
Ms. Anne Nolan, Manager, Integration and Support Unit, Ireland
Ms. Isabele Miranda Wallace, President, Asociación Alto al Secuestro (Stop the Killings), Mexico
Mr. Luis Hernando Redondo Melo, President, Association of Training, Guidance, Refugee Aid and Emigrant (FOARE), Spain
Ms. Mary Consolata Namagambe, Founder, She for She, Uganda
Ms. Frida Farrell, Co-Producer, Selling Isobel
Ms. Kerri Kasem, Founder, Kasem Cares, United States

Written by: WIT Representative LAU Chun Ki