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UN-HABITAT Executive Director Highlights Connections Between Urban and Green Agendas

© UN20 July 2009: UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka delivered a keynote address to the XVIII Assembly of Ministers and lead authorities of housing and urban development in Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI), which convened in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and emphasized three key messages: decent housing and universal access to basic urban services are critical elements to the well-being of urban populations and poverty reduction; cities play a role as engines of economic growth; and sustainable development depends on sustainable urban development.

Tibaijuka noted that urban areas accommodate about half the world's population and consume 65% of the world's energy, contributing to about 75% of waste and 65% of greenhouse gas emissions. She stressed that the Habitat Agenda, normally recognized as the brown agenda, should no longer be delinked from the green agenda, especially as it relates to the challenges of climate change and the need to integrate cities as part of the solution.

She highlighted that UN-HABITAT is launching two new initiatives. The first initiative, the World Urban Campaign, aims to elevate the discussion of sustainable urbanization in different decision-making fora to revive national Habitat Platforms to stimulate dialogue and action. The second initiative, the City and Climate Change Initiative, advocates for an integrated approach to land use and urban infrastructure that promotes resilient urban services and greener building technologies. [UN-HABITAT Press Release][Keynote address by UN-HABITAT Director Anna Tibaijuka]