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Key focus of the forum is to Make Cities Smart, Safe and Sustainable

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced on World Habitat Day (Oct. 1st) that Dublin, Ireland had been chosen as the host city of WACAP8. The forum will take place on the 20 – 21st of February 2013.

The World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) was first launched in 1996 as a global network of municipal governments.  Its objective is to address the challenges brought on by urbanization, and to share knowledge of best practices. Each Forum attracts senior political leadership from cities as well as policy and technical specialists with designated authority.

Naoise Ó Muirí, Lord Mayor of Dublin, commented that his city is delighted to host WACAP8 and is looking forward to receiving the delegates in February. “The International Forum and Expo will bring together key people to build solutions for the Millennium Development Goals and to address the global challenge of urban poverty,” he said.  “Through a diverse range of speakers and sessions, the Forum will specifically examine ways in which technology can make our cities ‘Smart, Safe and Sustainable’.”

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that by 2050, 70 per cent of the world population will live in cities.

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said more people now live in cities than in rural areas.

Dublin chosen to host WACAP8 - Markus Schieder –GettyDublin chosen to host WACAP8 - Markus Schieder –Getty“Cities should offer social, economic and political opportunities for citizens to reach their full potential. WACAP is meant as a contribution, with our partners, to facilitate this process.”

UN WOMEN Executive Director Michelle Bachelet added her views by saying that 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”.

WACAP is led by UNDP and a 10-member executive steering committee consisting of the cities of Florence (Italy), Malaga (Spain), Huy (Belgium), Monaco, Nantes (France), Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Dublin (Ireland), in addition to UNDP, UNITAR and UN Women.  Past Forums have taken place in Lyon, France (1998); Geneva, Switzerland (2000); Huy, Belgium (2002); Rome, Italy (2004); Valencia, Spain (2006); Athens, Greece (2008) and Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010).  This year’s forum in Dublin will coincide with the country’s hosting of the presidency of the European Union.

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