Highlights and images for 9 February 2020


Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat, Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman, Department of Municipalities and Transport, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Zuraida Kamaruddin, Minister for Housing and Local Government, Malaysia

The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) continued on Sunday, with the official opening taking place in the morning. During the ceremony, it was announced that more than 80 ministers, 70 mayors, and over 18,000 delegates from 140 nations had registered for WUF10.Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, noted that WUF10 was the first conference of its kind to be held in the Arab region. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, addressed the Forum in a video message, noting that urbanization often comes with problems such as high rates of inequality.Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, said the shared goal for cities to become more compact and sustainable between now and 2050 is threatened by environmental change, a technological revolution, and mounting political rivalries and violence. Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama emphasized the need to make urban living synonymous with sustainability and called on “every nation, city and community” to join Fiji in achieving net zero emissions by 2050.UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif urged for turning urbanization into a net positive contributor to life on earth. In the afternoon, a ministerial roundtable heard statements from more than 20 high-level dignitaries, and the second Pan-Arab Urban Development Symposium considered region-specific challenges that influence sustainable urbanization and urban resilience. UN-Habitat’s new Goodwill Ambassador for Arab States H.R.H. Princess Lamia bint Majed Al Saud identified a rising trend of philanthropic giving and corporate social responsibility within the region’s private sector.A host of other events took place in parallel, including a local and regional governments’ roundtable, special sessions, and sessions on the Sustainable Development Goals in Action. Participants attended a reception and a concert in the evening.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from WUF10. In addition, a summary report has also been produce in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Natalia Mroz

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Opening Plenary
The opening ceremony with hosts Won Ho and Youssef Abdulbari
Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Abu Dhabi
Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat 
Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan
Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
Members of the press during the opening ceremony
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, addresses WUF10 participants via video message.
Eduardo López Moreno, UN-Habitat
Martha Delgado, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
Elisa Ferreira, European Commission

The audience during the opening ceremony

Opening of the WUF10 Exhibition
Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, UAE, and Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat, presided over the opening of the WUF10 Exhibition.

The high-level delegation opens the exhibition and meets participants.

Ministers Roundtable
Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, UAE
Moderator Joan Erakit
Seth Appleton, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Fuad Muradov, State Committee on Work with Diaspora, Azerbaijan
Charles Griffith, Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development, Barbados
Participants confer during the ministerial roundtable.
Aleksei Ananich, Ministry of Architecture and Construction, Belarus
Noureddine Selmi, Minister of Equipment, Housing and Territorial Development, Tunisia
Maurice Dieudonné Bonanet, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Burkina Faso
Victor Kisob, UN-Habitat
Sustainable Urban Development in the Arab/MENA Region: 2nd Pan-Arab Urban Development Symposium
Mounir Tabet, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Development Programme
Jamila Mohammed Al Fandi, Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme
Mahmoud Sharawi, Minister of Local Development, Egypt
Abdulla bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies
Sign language translation during the session
Maher Johan, Deputy Minister of Planning, Iraq
Questions from the floor
Launch of the SDG Project Assessment Tool: An innovative tool for inclusive, sustainable and effective urban projects
Neil Khor, UN-Habitat
Lewis Neal, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Naomi Hoogervorst, UN-Habitat
Dyfed Aubrey, UN-Habitat
Around the Venue
Participants pose for a group photo.
Earth Negotiations Bulletin is distributed around the venue.
A participant takes notes.
Participants pose for a photo.

Participants at WUF10's evening reception