The Government of Italy has pledged nearly 2 million Euros to host the sixth World Urban Forum in Naples, Italy in 2012.
Speaking during a recent signing ceremony and press conference in Naples, President of the Campania Region in Southern Italy, Stefano Caldoro, said that the decision to host the Forum was not taken in isolation but is part of a larger plan towards increasing the international exposure and visibility of the city.
The agreement was signed in June in Naples, between Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, the organiser of the Forum and Nicola Oddati, the President of the Universal Forum of Cultures Foundation which will host the Forum on behalf of the three levels of Government of Italy - the Central Government, the region of Campania and the city of Naples.
The city is also hosting the International Forum of Culture in 2013 which, together with the Forum, will represent a step forward in the path to make Naples a leading city in the promotion of intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean region. President Caldoro reaffirmed his willingness to collaborate with all level of governments for the success of WUF as proved by the large representation of institutions at the press conference.
Also speaking at the press event, Enzo Scotti, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed the support of the Italian government to the World Urban Forum and praised the far-sighted and courageous lead taken by the Campania Region. “Even when other emergencies and problems are taking place and need to be solved it is still important to deal with international issues, such as [adequate shelter and urban development]”, he said.
Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Dr. Clos, said: “Naples is a complex and unique city, full of beauty and contradictions, with big potentials and big challenges. For this reason Naples is the ideal place to discuss the future of cities and urbanization both in developing and developed countries.”
Organised biannually by UN-HABITAT, The World Urban Forum is the world’s leading conference on city development. The theme chosen for the sixth Forum, to be held in late 2012 is, the urban future and the prosperity of cities. It will provide a platform to discuss innovative ways to harness the positive aspects that urbanization can offer and solutions to the problems that cities are facing. More than 13,000 people attended last year’s event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.