First World Urban Campaign Assembly reinvigorates commitments to the SDGs under the Decade of Action

First World Urban Campaign Assembly reinvigorates commitments to the SDGs under the Decade of Action

Nairobi, 18 June 2020  

Four months after they met in Abu Dhabi at the 10th Session of the World Urban Forum, the World Urban Campaign (WUC) Partners reconvened today in their First WUC Assembly Meeting. The event gathered 77 participants through a video conference, chaired by Bert Smolders (Arcadis NV), Sri Husnaini Sofjan (Huairou Commission) and Sandeep Chachra (ActionAid India).

The meeting was opened by Christine Knudsen, UN-Habitat Director of External Relations, Strategy, Knowledge and Innovation. She underlined the importance of the WUC in supporting the global advocacy efforts of UN-Habitat towards the New Urban Agenda and the SDG achievements under the UN Decade of Action. This demands urgency and ambition, should mobilize everyone, everywhere and gather solutions, she said.

Bert Smolders presented the new vision of the WUC consisting in a renewed mission to ‘contribute in developing solutions and take action in cities and communities in implementing the New Urban Agenda to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs’. He articulated the new goals that are to advocate and raise-awareness, identify solutions to catalyze action between stakeholders in cities and communities, and promote actions that have the best potential to scale-up and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. In addition, the WUC as a platform should mobilize partners and form action-oriented alliances to deliver measurable results. The new vision includes key principles starting with ambition, commensurate with the global effort needed to deliver the 2030 promise, as well as collaboration and mutual support among the diverse community of partners, complementing each other rather than competing. Participants agreed on this new vision meant to reinvigorate commitments to the SDG achievements by 2030.

A new WUC governance framework was also discussed by the participants in order to implement the new vision. WUC Partners all agreed that a simplified and more open engagement process is needed to make the WUC a more operational and influential platform to achieve its new mission and goals. A new modus operandi has to be put in place, inspired by the recent modalities of interaction imposed by the COVID-19 crisis in order to be more efficient and catalytic.

Finally, participants discussed the results of the recent COVID-19 Urban Thinkers Campus Series that attracted some 1,150 participants in less than a month and will continue in the coming two months with about 30 new sessions coordinated by WUC Partners. Sandeep Chachra presented the results and explained how this has inspired new modalities of interaction that will help the WUC to unlock further the potential of Urban Thinkers Campuses for the future.

In conclusion, participants discussed a new WUC road map to endorse the new mission, governance and Urban Thinkers Campus modalities. The WUC participants should reconvene in a second Assembly Meeting early October this year for a fresh start with a new Steering Committee in place. In the meantime, each partner will revisit their own commitments with measurable targets in order to ramp up their ambitions towards achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs under the Decade of Action.

Download WUC Assembly Presentation

Article by Christine Auclair, UN-Habitat