UN-Habitat on Tuesday unveiled the City of Medellin as the venue of the Seventh session of the World Urban Forum due next year, 2014.
At a press conference in Nairobi, Dr. Joan Clos the United Nations Under-Secretary General and the Executive Director of UN-Habitat hosted top officials from the Colombian government and the city of Medellin in unveiling the venue.
Dr. Clos was accompanied by the Ricardo José Arango Manager of the Local Organizing Committee of the World Urban Forum Diego Restrepo, Chief of the Institute of Housing of Medellin and Colombia's ambassador to Kenya and Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat, Maria Eugenia Correa when they announced that Medellin will play host to the Forum next year.
After a bidding process with other cities, Medellin got the honors of being chosen to host next year's event.
According to the representatives of the Colombian Government and the city of Medellin the choice was a great honour to them. They said that after many decades of being depicted as a place of violence and non-growth, Medellin had turned a new chapter which it wanted to show case to the world.
The Colombian officials extended a warm invitation to all the delegates who will be heading to their city and promised them an experience to last a life time.
On his part, Dr. Clos expressed optimism that the great and exciting changes seen in Medellin would help stakeholders from other cities of the world- especially those undergoing urbanisation challenges- would serve as an incentive so that when they go back home they can replicate the same.
In the space of a few short years, the World Urban Forum has turned into the world's premier conference on cities. The Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
Since the first meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, the Forum has grown in size and stature as it travelled to Barcelona in 2004, Vancouver 2006, Nanjing in 2008, Rio de Janeiro in 2010 and Naples in 2012.