Mayors and other senior municipals authorities from more than 100 cities will convene next week in Dublin, Ireland, to discuss, debate and deliberate solutions to growing urban poverty challenges made more severe by the current economic crisis. The cities include those from across Europe, but also from as far away as Ankara, Abeokuta and Addis Ababa to Beijing, Banjul, Cairo and Khartoum.
The conference begins on Wednesday, 20 February with opening statements from Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Mary Robinson, Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide, and Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director, UN-HABITAT.
The World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) is a network of more than 900 cities working together to confront development challenges collectively. It was started by the United Nations Development Programme in 1996 following the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. The Dublin Forum is the eighth summit of city leaders. The Alliance supports its member-cities to mobilize individuals, governments, and all sectors of society to confront the many challenges of urban poverty and to share successes - and failures - with other cities.
Hundreds of best practices in reducing urban poverty will be presented at WACAP 8. Cities from across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas will attend the Forum. For example, the City of Edmonton, Alberta will present how it eliminated the need for a garbage dump through aggressive composting and recycling programs.
UNICEF, UN-HABITAT and UN Women will bring city delegates from Port Moresby, Quito, Kigali, New Delhi and Cairo to showcase their "Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls" initiative.
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet said that no city could be considered safe, smart or sustainable unless half of its population – women and girls—could enjoy public spaces without the fear of violence. “Working with municipal leaders, WACAP8 can help ensure that women, youth and children are safe to fully enjoy the many opportunities that cities offer.”
The City of Geneva, Switzerland, which hosted the Forum in 2000, recently joined WACAP’s Executive Steering Committee and will be represented in Dublin by Ms. Esther Alder, member of the City of Geneva's Executive Council.
For more information on the Summit, and to register, visit the website Dublin2013.ie.