Mayors Clamor for a Voice at Rio+20 and Beyond
Inside the United Nations
April 24, 2012
At a high-level meeting of sub-national government leaders and representatives from the World Bank and other institutions with a stake in Rio+20, delegates unanimously clamored for a more prominent role in sustainability and climate change talks.
In light of rapid global urbanization, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized the importance of cities, insisting that “our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities.” Ban called on delegates to play a central role in shifting the development paradigm and make the “hard but necessary choices” that lie ahead. “Our goal,” he announced, “is a fundamental ‘reset’ of the global development agenda.”
The delegation shared its vision of a sustainable future, which prioritizes an integrated approach to sustainable development. Ambassador Albert Chua of Singapore, speaking as the co-Chair of Friends for Sustainable Cities, laid out a five-pillar framework comprising: 1) basic services (from education to waste management); 2) investment in connectivity infrastructure; 3) social inclusion and equity; 4) respect and development of culture; and 5) adaptation to climate change, disaster risk reduction, and resilience planning.