Fourth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum: Making MDGs work for cities
Periodically UNESCAP convenes the Asia Pacific Urban Forum to
discuss emerging issues, innovative practices and regional technical
The Fourth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum was held in conjunction with
the Citynet Congress in Hanoi from 12 to 14 October 2005. The
theme of this Forum was Making Millennium Development Goals Work
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), are specific targets
for poverty reduction and human development that were agreed upon
by the member states of the United Nations to be undertaken with
To ensure that these goals are fully accepted and implemented,
MDGs need to be understood and put into practice at all levels
and by all stakeholders.
In most countries local government, as the level of government
closest to the people, have the greatest potential of achieving
the MDGs. As policy makers at this level and other local actors
are mostly unaware of the MDGs greater efforts are needed to increase
awareness of the MDGs and of strategies, approaches and best practices
to achieve them. In addition to awareness creation, advocacy,
knowledge transfer and technical assistance are needed to enable
local governments and their partners to achieve MDGs.
To discuss the potentials of cities and local governments
to achieve the MDGs’ targets;
To assess appropriate mechanisms and processes for institutionalizing
and localizing MDGs at the level of cities and local governments.
To come-up with a set of recommendations on the specific
contributions and role of cities and local government in achieving
To create opportunities for exchange of experience, and promote
partnership among cities and local governments, mainly in Asia-Pacific
region, on the MDG s’ framework and approaches.
To share best practices on the related goals, including urban
poverty, water, waste, education as well as the overall city
management and efficient administration.
The Forum was designed to ensure comprehensive and equal participation
by different stakeholders. Discussions at the Forum were divided
into four components:
where emerging and critical regional issues, including the implementation
and localization of MDGs were presented and discussed;
where innovative practices and approaches were presented and
Forum, where on-going and planned regional and country-level
initiatives of international and bilateral agencies were presented;
Forums, where participants, through interactive sessions,
identified sub-regional urban development needs and discussed
the most effective technical cooperation modalities and regional
and sub-regional approaches and support mechanisms to assist
them in addressing those needs.
The Forum was a multi-stakeholder event, where about 200 participants
from 25 countries acquired an understanding of each other’s
perspectives and the need to engage in partnerships.
Policy makers from national and local governments and representatives
of non-governmental and community based organizations, research
and training institutes and the private sector attended. Participants
also included members of Citynet.
The outcome of the Forum will be synthesized into a policy paper
and discussed at the 62nd Session of the Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific to be held in Jakarta in 2006. Once approved,
it will serve as a guideline for UNESCAP and its partners in developing
technical cooperation programmes to assist stakeholders in localizing
the MDGs in urban areas.
Mr. Yap Kioe Sheng
Chief, Poverty Reduction Section
UNESCAP, UN Building,
Rajdamnern Nok Ave.
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Fax: 66-2-288 1056