Published:  02:42 PM, 11 July 2019

Sustainable dev largely depends on successful management of urban growth: UN

Sustainable dev largely depends on successful management of urban growth: UN


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growthas the world continues to urbanize, with 68 percent of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050.

“For many of the world’s least developed countries, the challenges to sustainable development are compounded by rapid population growth as well as vulnerability to climate change,” he said in a message marking the World Population Day that falls on July 11.

The UN chief said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. 

“On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization,” he said.

Guterres said other countries are facing the challenge of ageing populations, including the need to promote healthy active ageing and to provide adequate social protection.

“As the world continues to urbanize, with 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growth,” he said. 

While managing these population trends, Guterres said they must also recognize the relationship between population, development and individual well-being. 

Twenty-five years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), world leaders first spelt out the links between population, development and human rights, including reproductive rights.

They also recognized that promoting gender equality is both the right thing to do and one of the most reliable pathways to sustainable development and improved well-being for all.

“This year's World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the Cairo ICPD Conference,” Guterres said.

Despite progress in lowering maternal mortality and unintended pregnancies, many challenges remain, he said.

“Around the world, we are seeing pushback on women’s rights, including on essential health services,” said the UN chief. 

In November, a summit marking the 25th anniversary of the Cairo Conference will take place in Nairobi. 

“I encourage Member States to participate at the highest levels and to make firm political and financial commitments to realize the Programme of Action of the ICPD,” Guterres said. 

He said carrying forward the vision of the ICPD will unlock opportunities for those left behind and help pave the way for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development for all.

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