The Global Observance of World Habitat Day this year will be held in Aguascalientes, Mexico on Monday 3 October.
Hosted by the Government of Mexico the day's events will be held at the Descubre Museum and opened by the Governor of the Aguascalientes State, Carlos Lozano de la Torre. Other speakers include: the Secretary of Social Development, Heriberto Félix Guerra; the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Dr. Joan Clos
This year's theme, Cities and Climate Change, was chosen because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century while, at the same time, our world is becoming increasingly urban. Indeed, no-one today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time.
In an official statement, the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said: "Cities are centres of industrialization and sources of emissions, but they are also home to solutions. More and more municipalities are harnessing wind, solar and geothermal energy, contributing to green growth and improving environmental protection."
In his statement, UN Under-Secretary General and UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Joan Clos, emphasised the effects of climate change. "We already know that the impacts of climate disruption will be particularly severe in low-elevation coastal zones where many of the world's largest cities are located," he said. "And always it is the urban poor, especially slum dwellers, who are most at risk when disaster strikes. We need to stress the provision of adequate adaptation measures based on urban planning."
The morning's programme will include the presentation of the Scroll of Honour Award by UN-HABITAT, World Habitat Awards by the Building and Social Housing Foundation and national awards by the Mexican authorities. These awards recognise contributions by actors, both state and non-governmental, around the world to bettering the lives of our growing urban population.
Other celebrations marking the day will take place in scores of cities around the world such as Kisumu, Kenya; Tehran, Iran; and Toronto, Canada, to name a few. The world's newest country, South Sudan, will mark its first World Habitat Day as an independent state with a street procession and exhibitions on informal settlement upgrading.
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