The World Cities Day 2021
Thursday، 28 October 2021 - 12:00 AM
In Luxor, the activities of the International Day of Cities, held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, took place on October 30 and 31, 2021 under the theme “Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience”. with the presence of a number of officials of the United Nations and the UN-HABITAT human settlements program, international dignitaries and development partners, as well as a number of ministers and governors from Egypt and various countries of the world, and ambassadors of foreign countries to Cairo.
Egypt’s hosting of the World Cities Day represents an opportunity to inform many countries of the world of Egypt’s successful and pioneering development experience during the past seven years under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, especially in the field of advanced urban development and infrastructure, where more than 14 new smart cities are being established, in addition to the development of existing cities, the implementation of the largest housing project in the history of Egypt, the establishment of a new administrative capital, and the launching of an ambitious program to eliminate unsafe areas in various governorates.
This important international event coincides with Egypt's entry into the era of smart cities, which achieves technological development within the framework of the government's efforts to transform into a digital society and facilitate services provided to citizens, especially with the political leadership's interest in urban development and finding quick and smart solutions to meet the challenges and problems facing cities and the state's adoption of a strategy for urban development.
About World Cities Day
The International Day of Cities was established on December 27, 2013 by its resolution A/RES/68/239. The first World Cities Day was held in October 2014.
World Cities Day is an annual occasion to promote the international community's interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.
The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life, while each year a different sub-theme and a location for its global observance is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.
The first global celebration of World Cities Day was in Shanghai, China on October 31, 2014, with the theme: Leading Urban Transformations. In 2015, in Milan, Italy the theme of the celebration was “Designed to Live Together”. In 2016, in Quito, Ecuador the theme was “Inclusive Cities and Shared Development”. In 2017, in Guangzhou, China the theme was “Innovative Governance and Open Cities”. In 2018 in Liverpool, UK, the theme was “Together to build sustainable and resilient cities”, and in 2019 in Yekaterinburg in the Russian Federation, World Cities Day focused on changing the world with the theme “Innovations and a better life for future generations”.
First day activities
The activities of the first day included a session to review the local development program in Upper Egypt:
Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, confirmed in a session reviewing the local development program in Upper Egypt that the local development program in Upper Egypt is a development program that aims primarily to advance the development wheel in the governorates of Qena and Sohag as a development model that can be generalized in the rest of Upper Egypt governorates. The geographical extension of the program was directed by the political leadership to reach the governorates of Minya and Assiut, in coordination between the World Bank and the Egyptian government.
He, also, said that the Egyptian state has implemented projects in Upper Egypt over the past seven years since President Sisi took office, with a value of about 375 billion pounds to improve the level of all basic services provided to citizens in Upper Egypt, especially drinking water and sanitation, in addition to providing job opportunities.
The Minister of Local Development added that the local development program in Upper Egypt focuses on 3 factors:
· * Supporting the competitiveness of economic sectors through the development of economic blocs with competitive advantage, modernizing management in industrial zones and improving the business environment for investors.
· * Upgrading the level of infrastructure, developing local administration and local planning, developing local resources, improving services, implementing maintenance and operating plans, and developing follow-up systems.
· **Providing capacity building, institutional development, information infrastructure and geographic systems support.
Shaarawy pointed out that the program implemented by the ministry in coordination with several ministries works to support competitive indicators as well as Indicators of the reformation of the local administration system, the governance of its work, the support for decentralization, and the empowerment of governorates.
Shaarawy, also, confirmed that the program, from January 2018 until the end of the fiscal year 2020/2021, contributed to the implementation of 3,589 projects in the governorates of Qena and Sohag, at a cost of nearly EGP 10 billion in the drinking water sectors.
The activities of the first day, also, included holding a session on the Egyptian Rural Development Program “A Decent Life” in Upper Egypt
The session was attended by Counselor Mostafa Elham, Governor of Luxor, Major General Hisham Amna, Governor of Beheira, Ms. Elina Panova, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, Dr. Hisham El-Helbawy, General Supervisor of the Egyptian Rural Development Initiative, and Dr. Walaa Gad El-Karim, Director of the Executive Unit for a Decent Life in the Ministry.
Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, stressed, during his speech at the session of the Egyptian Rural Development Program "A Decent Life" in Upper Egypt, that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, since assuming the presidency of Egypt in 2014, paid great attention to improving the lives of citizens in the Egyptian countryside and providing them with decent housing despite Many challenges and problems.
Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy explained that the preliminary phase of the initiative contributed to covering 63 villages with sanitation services, increasing the coverage rate of drinking water services from 86% to 98%, doubling the amount of water produced in the targeted villages, comprehensively improving electricity and public lighting services, paving about 350 km of roads, and providing 2,800 new educational classes accommodating about 100,000 students. This is in addition to a comprehensive development of 54 health facilities, the development of 22 youth centers, as well as an increase in the efficiency of 16,000 homes.
Second day activities
Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, delivered a speech at the celebration of International Cities Day in Luxor.
The Prime Minister began his speech by welcoming Mrs. Maimouna Mohamed Sharif, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program, as well as ministers, governors, foreign ambassadors and mayors from all over the world, in Luxor, the city of civilization and history, and among the vastness of its monuments and temples saying: “ Let us witness together how Egypt has preserved, through the generations, this world heritage; An asset to humanity and a witness to its development.”
The Prime Minister also conveyed to the attendees the greetings of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, and his welcome for their presence today in this important global event, which is being held under his personal auspices, noting that the President will participate in the 26th session of the “United Nations Summit of Heads of State and Government on Climate Change,” which will be held on the 1st and 2nd of November in Glasgow.
During his speech, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly indicated that Egypt places the urban development file at the forefront of its development agenda Which is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), pointing out that the first of the eight main goals of Egypt's vision is to "improve the quality of life of the Egyptian citizen and improve his standard of living", in order to achieve the goals of the new urban agenda and the sustainable development goals, especially the eleventh goal, which calls for making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Dr. Mostafa Madbouly pointed out that Egypt had submitted to the Convention Secretariat (UNFCCC) the first national reporting report in 1999, as well as the second national reporting report in 2010, and the third national reporting report in 2016. He added that the Egyptian government also prepared its first biennial update report (known as the BUR) to submit it to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2018. He also indicated that Egypt is currently preparing the fourth national report to be submitted to the Convention Secretariat (UNFCCC), which is based on all previous reports and other studies related to climate change.
In this context, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly expressed Egypt's happiness to host the 27th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in 2022 on behalf of the African continent, in Sharm El Sheikh, pointing out that the meetings held during the celebration of World Cities Day act as a catalyst for critical discussions to develop the implementation plans needed to achieve a carbon-neutral world by 2050.
The Prime Minister added that Egypt is implementing in the field of sustainable urban development many national programs and projects, which he considers on a personal and professional level, an inspiration to many countries and cities around the world, noting that Egypt has adopted a national project for urban development, through the establishment of a generation of new cities, built on the foundations of green, sustainable, and smart cities, on top of which are the new administrative capital, the new city of El Alamein, and twenty other cities, all built simultaneously, and all of which follow these foundations and principles based on green environmental sustainability.
The Prime Minister concluded his speech by renewing the welcome for the officials present in Luxor, wishing all concerned officials a successful work. He also thanked the officials of the United Nations and the Human Settlements Program for choosing Luxor to host this important event.
Furthermore, Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, affirmed that the celebration of the World Cities Day, hosted by Egypt from Luxor Governorate, is a symbol of the history and hierarchy of civilizations on its land, its temples and ancient Egyptian treasures… which laid the foundations for building a sustainable system for urban cities, seeking to strengthen and mobilize the international and local community. Sustainable urban development within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the urban agenda, including the concept of “sustainable cities” as not only responding to the needs and aspirations of citizens related to public services, or even increasing the rates of sustainable development in these cities.
In his speech on the sidelines of the World Cities Day celebration in Luxor, Shaarawy continued: “This concept extends to ensuring that all citizens obtain a fair share of the fruits of this development, and the concept of “sustainable cities” is also linked to the existence of a system of governance that ensures the efficiency of decisions taken by local authorities. cities in a manner that ensures that the needs of citizens are met in light of the available resources.
The Minister of Local Development added: “During the past few decades, Egyptian cities, like cities in other countries, have been exposed to a large number of challenges resulting from population increase, migration from the countryside to cities, and the expansion of economic and other activities. These challenges have resulted in a large number of problems, but I would like to I focus on the first of these problems with regard to slums, developing the most needy areas, and improving the quality of life of citizens in a sustainable and decent way through a decent life, where random growth represents one of the most important challenges facing urban development and sustainable urban development in Egypt, and the Egyptian government has adopted an integrated strategy To improve the conditions of slums, with the aim of developing degraded slum areas and dealing with unplanned areas, and limiting the expansion of existing slums by packing them into planned areas.
The Minister of Local Development added: “The development of slums is not limited to providing adequate alternative housing for its residents, but this development includes opening traffic axes and providing the necessary services for them, and these services include schools, administrative and health buildings, commercial markets, parks, and others on a sustainable basis, a comprehensive system for local economic development in the governorates and the promotion of promising investment opportunities in each governorate.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participated in a panel discussion on the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable groups within the activities of the World Cities Day Conference in Luxor.
In the opening speech of the panel discussion, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat emphasized that the negative repercussions caused by climate change in our region and all over the world directly affect the lives of citizens and their daily needs, especially the most vulnerable groups such as small farmers and fish workers, explaining that these repercussions necessitate that the international community should strengthen development cooperation efforts for joint action to confront climate risks, and enhance the capabilities of emerging countries to adapt to them.
The Minister of International Cooperation indicated that the Egyptian government has taken into account the most vulnerable groups, and the need to enhance their capabilities to confront climate changes and to direct comprehensive development plans, which is done through the presidential initiative for the integrated development of the Egyptian countryside, "a Decent Life", which aims to improve the lives of citizens in the Egyptian countryside, and thus improve the standard of living of more than half of the population of the Arab Republic of Egypt, by achieving economic and social development, the initiative works to achieve the seventeen sustainable development goals in rural areas. She asserted that the initiative represents an example for the international community and all countries aiming to support the most vulnerable and needy groups their communities and integrating them into development efforts.
The Minister of International Cooperation stressed the importance of international partnerships between all relevant parties, including multilateral and bilateral development partners, international financing institutions, the private sector and civil society, to support these groups and improve their livelihoods, as well as to build sustainable cities and communities that are able to adapt to changes and shocks, and contribute to achieving comprehensive and sustainable development.
She, also, talked about the national priorities to combat climate change, as Egypt is working in many directions to adapt to it, especially in the sectors of agriculture, raw resources and energy, noting that the world is looking forward to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, in addition to the resulting recommendations and axes for action. She highlighted that Egypt works to host the next edition of COP27 in light of its regional leadership to promote joint action to confront climate change.
The Minister of International Cooperation was keen to thank the Ministry of Local Development and the United Nations Human Settlements Program for holding the conference in Luxor, to become a platform for exchanging experiences and ideas on sustainable urban development, and how to enhance opportunities to adapt to climate changes, especially for the most needy groups.
The activities of the International Cities Day were concluded on Sunday evening 31/10/2021
Among the closing remarks, organizers assured that "cities are perfect places for creativity and innovation we need to take advantage of that, Covid19 showcased that through the creative ways that were created to face the pandemic, currently more than 700 hundred cities have pledged to achieve the net zero emissions target."
"Well governed Urbanization is the cornerstone for mitigating the negative effects of climate change Bottom up and top bottom approach should be implemented in order to ensure that all solutions are responsive, implementable and actionable," they added.
Below are the recommendations of the event to safeguard the Arab World:
• Commit to a healthy, green and just recovery from COVID-19.
• Make COP26 the ‘Health COP’, placing health and social justice at the heart of discussions.
• Prioritize climate interventions with the largest health-, social- and economic gains.
• Build climate resilient health systems, and support health adaptation across sectors.
• Make sure that mitigation plans are included
• Transition to renewable energy is a must
• Promote sustainable, healthy urban design and transport systems.
• Engaging the private sector is very important
• Investing in nature-based solutions and innovative business models and green financing is an important key
• Redesign infrastructure so that it has a renewable energy focus
International praise for Egypt’s success in organizing the celebration of World Cities Day
The Ministry of Local Development confirmed that the participants from international dignitaries and high-level representatives from various countries of the world who participated in the celebration of the International Cities Day in Luxor on October 30 and 31, praised Egypt’s success in organizing this important international event, which was held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the celebration’s exit. In a manner befitting the new republic.
He stated to the Ministry today that the Arab, African and international delegations that participated in the celebration sessions and activities, including ministers, mayors, governors and development partners from all over the world, confirmed that the selection of Luxor by the United Nations and the Human Settlements Program to host the celebration was a right decision after the beautiful and wonderful image that Featured and well organized.
Major General Mahmoud Sharawy, Minister of Local Development, indicated that all the meetings he held with senior international officials participating in the celebration, led by Maimouna Sharif, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program “Habitat” and Jean-Pierre Embassi, Secretary-General of the Organization of Cities and Governments The African local gave their thanks and appreciation to the political leadership and the Egyptian government for hosting this celebration in the city of civilization and history.
He pointed out that coordination has been coordinated with the United Nations Human Settlements Program “Habitat”, to raise the ideas and visions that emerged from the sessions that took place in the celebration over the two days to the United Nations Summit of Heads of Cities and Governments on Climate Change, which is currently being held in Glasgow, to study benefiting from them and applying and implementing recommendations, especially And that this year’s conference discussed a very important topic, which is “adapting and strengthening the capabilities of cities to resist climate changes”, as the countries of the whole world are now suffering due to climate changes.
Shaarawy explained that among the most important ideas that came out of the celebration and the sessions held on the sidelines is the need for countries to pay attention to a healthy and just recovery from the Corona virus, and called the participants to move towards a green economy and make the United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow focus on issues related to health and social justice.
The participants also called for giving priority to investing in projects to combat climate change, support the resilience of health systems in various countries, and shift towards new and renewable energy.
Participants recommended supporting sustainability in the design, development and implementation of urban cities, transport systems and infrastructure, giving a greater role to the private sector and making COP 26 a “healthy COP”, with health and social justice at the center of discussions.
The celebration also recommended the importance of prioritizing climate interventions with greater health, social and economic gains, building health systems capable of adapting to the climate, and supporting health adaptation across sectors.
The need to move to new and renewable energy, which has become a must, especially in infrastructure design projects, with the importance of promoting sustainable and healthy urban design, transportation systems, engaging the private sector, investing in nature-based solutions, innovative business models and green finance as an important key.
The celebration also emphasized that the history of Luxor city reflects innovation and creativity for urban solutions, and they also stressed the need for new, more effective and responsive technologies to information and communication technology to help respond to climate challenges.
The World Cities Day celebration called for the inclusion of climate considerations in the urban planning process, which encourages partnerships with the private sector and civil society organizations, and enhances and benefits from local knowledge and research, to design and build more innovative and resilient cities.
The participants stressed the need for the international community to deal with climate change with the same degree of urgency and focus as it was done with the Corona virus to achieve quick results, and the celebration also stressed the importance of international conferences and forums in exchanging ideas and enhancing international cooperation between countries and identifying best practices with regard to mitigating the effects of the virus. Climate change affects the lives of people most at risk, such as farmers, fishermen and women, with the need for the international community to deal with the issue of urban adaptation to the climate in the same way it dealt with the Corona pandemic to achieve quick results because the consequences of negligence in urgent dealings will have catastrophic effects on all countries of the world.
The participants pointed out that adapting to climate change starts with the planning process and then designing buildings in an environmentally friendly manner in terms of clean energy, water and sanitation needs, in addition to building capacities and seeking to strengthen local / regional / international partnerships, rationalizing resources and developing innovative solutions to promote a green and sustainable economy.
The participants also stressed the importance of moving forward towards the localization of sustainable development goals and access to green cities through the establishment of projects with positive impacts on the environment and climate, with the need to involve all parties and stakeholders when developing plans to enhance the resilience of cities in the face of climate change.
The Minister of Local Development also praised the efforts made by Luxor Governor, Counselor Mostafa Elham, and all the executive leaders in the governorate to come out with this celebration in a manner worthy of the Egyptian state and the city of Luxor, in light of the ongoing preparations for the major celebration to revive the “Road of Rams” to be held on the same approach as the global events organized by Egypt during the period The past was to promote Egypt’s soft power, the latest of which was the Royal Mummies Parade.