United Nations, Aug. 27: “Well-planned and managed cities can steer us towards inclusive growth and serve as models of harmony among diverse people”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres declared in a video message on Monday to delegates at the 68th UN Civil Society Conference, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The conference, described by the UN as the Organization’s “premier event in the civil society calendar”, opened on 26th August and will run through 28 August. It brings together representatives of civil society from around the world, and senior UN officials, to discuss a wide range of solutions to the challenges of urban life and the modern world.
The UN chief welcomed the decision to make inclusive and sustainable cities and communities the focus of this year’s conference, noting that cities are well placed to help combat the global climate emergency and point the way towards sustainable, low-emission development.
At a time when civic space is shrinking worldwide and intolerance is on the rise, Mr. Guterres said civil society plays a vital role in solving all global challenges.
The 2019 conference has been set up to ensure that young people have a large say in the proceedings, holding a co-chair on nearly all planning sub-committees, and developing a separate outcome document for adoption on the final day of the event.