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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

23 October 2023


Excellency, Secretary-General, Chief Executive Officer and the distinguished Executive Committee members,

I am pleased to be here to renew and reaffirm the collaboration between ESCAP and CityNet. Our partnership is one of our longest; 36 years, since CityNet was founded by ESCAP, UNDP and others. 

It has since grown and matured, building the capacities of cities and establishing a strong network for them to benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges, as originally envisioned. 

We are proud of the fact that CityNet now serves more than 150 member cities, associates, corporations and partners across the region. 

We jointly benefit from our close association and partnership and more importantly, the region’s cities realize the benefits of our cooperation.

I would like to highlight some of the more recent collaborations we have had with CityNet. 

The Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, established in 2017 and hosted by CityNet with generous funding from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, is truly a useful gateway resource for member States and local authorities to share their sustainable urban solutions. 

Our collaboration on identifying good practices and case studies on localizing SDGs and reporting Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) is useful to CityNet members and many more cities. We look forward to the platform’s continued expansion. 

We also anticipate continuing our engagement and co-organizing with CityNet and its members regional activities, events and meetings. 

I am pleased that CityNet has collaborated in the organization of APUF-8 and coordinating several events and we hope that member cities take full advantage of getting to know stakeholders from different organizations and backgrounds. 

Every year, we also organize the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) in Bangkok and welcome CityNet’s continued participation to further promote and discuss the work of the network and its cities in a broader forum. 

Our common focus on climate change, disaster management and localizing SDGs will help to accelerate local city action as we develop coherent approaches and deliver joint capacity building activities to cities. 

In the context of this forum, we face ever-increasing crises, which require cities and their networks to play a greater role than ever before. They must be leaders in forging cooperation, fostering just transitions, overcoming social inequalities and bringing people together to co-design solutions for achieving inclusive and resilient cities. 

Since the challenges faced by cities and local governments are immense and require further support, I am pleased that we are renewing and reinvigorating our partnership through a new Memorandum of Understanding that we are signing today. 

We look forward to working hand-in-hand to ensure that Asia-Pacific cities are models of sustainability and that no one and no place is left behind. 

Thank you kindly for your attention, and best wishes and success for your Executive Committee.

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