The European Union (EU) and UN-HABITAT this week launched a new joint initiative on making cities around the world more sustainable as part of a new stage of closer cooperation between the two organizations.
For the past three years, UN-HABITAT and the EU´s executive Commission have been engaged in a process of reinforcing collaboration in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), with specific reference to urban poverty reduction .
At a special event at the Second World Urban Forum in Barcelona, in the presence of representatives from more than 10 EU Member States and other diplomats, the European Commission´s Research Directorate and UN-HABITAT launched a joint publication entitled "Creating a World of Sustainable Cities". Mr. Ponthieu, Head of Sector, Directorate General for Research, European Commission (EC) said that the publication was of vital importance to both UN-HABITAT and the European Commission, as the research carried out by the two institutions was very much driven by the need to resolve urban problems and to apply new cost-effective solutions.
Mr. Ponthieu announced the establishment of a common database of research results and a joint European Union-UN-HABITAT Conference scheduled in China next year to further complement the ongoing cooperation activities between UN-HABITAT and the European Commission.
Mr. Daniel Biau, Deputy Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, said that the two organizations had common programme interests in the area of sustainable urban development and management, including sustainable housing, water and sanitation and in the preservation of urban cultural heritage. He added that the two organizations also had common interests in the eradication of urban poverty, good and effective urban governance and generally in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.