Local Action Vital, Global Cooperation Indispensable to Build Resilient Urban Economies, Secretary-General Says in Message for World Habitat Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Habitat Day, observed on 2 October:

This year’s World Habitat Day focuses attention on “Resilient Urban Economies” and the potential of cities as drivers of inclusive, green and sustainable growth.  To fulfil this promise, cities must confront a range of challenges — from economic shocks and escalating climate emergencies to widening inequalities.

Through our “Local2030” coalition, we are mobilizing the entire United Nations system to tackle these crises from the ground up and advance sustainable urbanization.  Local zero-waste initiatives are supporting the creation of circular economies.  Public efforts to expand green spaces help cool urban landscapes during heatwaves.  And community action to reduce food waste and promote local production are key steps in transforming our food systems.

Building greater resilience and better protecting vulnerable populations requires far greater investments in sustainable infrastructure, early warning systems and affordable, adequate housing for all.  At the same time, we must work to improve access to electricity, water, sanitation, transport and other basic services — while investing in education, skills development, digital innovation and entrepreneurship.

Local action is vital, and global cooperation indispensable. On this World Habitat Day, let us pledge to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements for all people, everywhere.

For information media. Not an official record.