Participants highlighted the role of long-term national planning for urbanization through national sustainable development plans and urban policies.
Fiji’s Prime Minister described sustainable urban development as a tool to tackle climate vulnerability and inequality.
3 July 2019: The Fifth Pacific Urban Forum called for accelerating implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) to achieve the SDGs in the Pacific region. The Forum agreed on an action plan that focuses on four areas: social equity; environment, resilience and urbanization; urban economy; and urban governance.
Fiji’s Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, described sustainable urban development as a tool to tackle climate vulnerability and inequality. He emphasized that “the boldness of our decisions and the strength of our cooperation” will determine whether urban centers become engines of sustainable development or “bastions of inequity and climate vulnerability.”
In her remarks, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Secretary General Meg Taylor highlighted the importance of a regional approach to urbanization. She emphasized that urbanization “can become a powerful force for the sustainable development of our Pacific countries” if the Pacific acts with foresight and gets “our responses to these challenges right.”
The boldness of our decisions will determine whether urban centers become engines of sustainable development or bastions of inequity and climate vulnerability.
Participants recognized the role of urbanization in achieving sustainable development, and highlighted the role of long-term national planning for urbanization through national sustainable development plans and urban policies. The Forum reviewed the Pacific New Urban Agenda in light of the SDGs, and discussed how to anchor the Pacific New Urban Agenda within the region’s institutional and political architecture. Participants also considered how the region’s land tenure and informal settlements affect urbanization, and called for policies to develop healthy, safe, liveable cities.
Incoming PIFS Chairman, Prime Minister of Tuvalu Enele Sosana Sopoaga, committed to support the Pacific New Urban Agenda during closing remarks. He said he will support the Pacific New Urban Agenda at the PIFS and at global forums, including the Seventh Asia Pacific Forum and the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF).
The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Government of Fiji co-hosted the Fifth Pacific Urban Forum, which convened in Nadi, Fiji, from 1-3 July 2019. The Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Monash University, PIFS, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Compass Housing Services co-organized the event. [UN-Habitat News Story] [UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific News Story]