Global Observance of World Cities Day 2021 in Egypt Calls for Action on Climate Change

Participants in the first Global Observance of World Cities Day (WCD) “ Adaptation and Strengthening the Capabilities of Cities to Resist Climate Change ” , in the Middle East and North Africa region included the Egyptian Prime Minister, heads of UN agencies, governors, mayors, ministers, the EU delegation in Cairo and a wide range of associations and professionals.

Welcoming the participants to the ancient city of Luxor, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said his country’s hosting of World Cities Day 2021 – and the UN climate change conference next year in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh – showed Egypt’s dedication to climate change action.

Setting the tone for the ceremony, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reminded the audience that this year’s theme — Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience – should prompt cities around the world to become more resilient to survive the ongoing climate-related crises around the world.

“Cities are hubs of innovation and human ingenuity — and potential centres for transformative action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals and build a zero-carbon, climate-resilient and socially just world,” said the Secretary-General in a message delivered by the UN Resident Coordinator for Egypt Elena Panova on his behalf.

In her remarks, UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said while the Luxor event is “a timely reminder of the extraordinary achievements of human civilisation, it is also a reminder of the fragility of our bond with the natural world.”

Egypt’s Minister of Local Development, Mahmoud Sharawy said that World Cities Day aims to enhance the international community’s interest in sustainable global urbanization, push cooperation between countries and cities to address urbanization challenges, contribute to sustainable urban development around the world, and promote ambitious climate action for cities.

On the sidelines of this conference, sessions, workshops and meetings were held over the two days to discuss challenges facing the cities of Africa, to exchange experiences to find solutions. and explain a number of development programs that are being implemented in Egypt with international partners, including the Local Development Program in Upper Egypt and Clima-Med project, which is preparing ten Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plans (SEACAPs) covering the main cities of Luxor and the Red Sea Governorates.