The Eighth Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) has taken place in Dublin, Ireland.
Participants discussed solutions to urban poverty challenges, and showcased best practices in sustainable urban management and urban poverty reduction, including the "Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls" Initiative, and efforts by Edmonton, Canada to be a zero-waste city.
22 February 2013: The Eighth Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) has taken place in Dublin, Ireland. Participants discussed solutions to urban poverty challenges, and showcased best practices in sustainable urban management and urban poverty reduction, including the “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” Initiative, and efforts by Edmonton, Canada to be a zero-waste city.
The event, held from 20-21 February 2013, took up the theme “Smart, Safe and Sustainable Cities,” and promoted the role of city leaders in addressing urban challenges, including economics, education, energy, health, participation, safety and water. It also aimed to build consensus on ways in which technology companies can work with cities to respond to urban challenges and build a safer, “smarter” and more sustainable planet.
The “Safe Cities” Global Initiative, a joint initiative by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and UN Women brought city delegates from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG); Quito, Ecuador; Kigali, Rwanda; New Delhi, India; and Cairo, Egypt, to share their experiences in making their cities safer. At the Forum, Dublin became the first developed city to join the Initiative.
In opening remarks, UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet described smart cities as those that recognize equal opportunities, participation and rights of women as critical to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development. Noting the daily risks faced by women and girls from harassment, sexual assault and violence, she stressed that “no city could be considered safe, smart or sustainable unless all its population can enjoy public spaces without the fear of violence.”
Edmonton shared its goal of becoming a zero-waste city by improving its efficiency and responding to citizen needs, including through public-private collaborations. Sally Fegan-Wyles, UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Executive Director, emphasized the role of such partnerships “to end poverty in cities and to create a safe environment for all citizens.”
Approximately 500 participants, including mayors and municipal officials from over 100 cities, NGOs, technology innovators and women’s organizations attended the Forum. WACAP also reached 2.8 million participants who followed the event online through event streaming and Facebook and Twitter, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
WACAP is a network of over 900 cities collaborating to confront development challenges. UNDP leads the WACAP with the support of a steering committee that includes: UNITAR, UN Women and the cities of Florence, Italy; Malaga, Spain; Huy, Belgium; Monaco; Nantes, France; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; and Dublin, Ireland. [Forum Website] [WACAP Website] [Statement of UN Women Executive Director] [UN Women Press Release] [UNDP Press Release, 21 February] [UNDP Press Release, 11 February] [UNRIC Press Release]