Government at UN-HABITAT's Committee of Permanent Representatives applauded Brazilian President Lula da Silva government’s commitment for a successful World Urban Forum . The Forum will be held in March 2010.
The President made the commitment during a recent high level visit by UN-HABITAT officials to Brazil to lay the groundwork for the Forum to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro. The central theme of the Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum will be The Right to the City: Bridging the Urban Divide.
The meeting with President Lula, the Minister of Cities, Mr Marcio Fortes, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and Governor Sérgio Cabral in Complexo do Alemão was the highlight of the UN-HABITAT mission to the city from 25 to 29 May 2009.
President Lula told a huge and enthusiastic crowd, government officials and the UN-HABITAT team that it was high time for everyone to recognise the right of the poor to live with dignity and in safety. He said that the poor had a right to the city and its benefits and the role of the government was to enable this to happen.
While showing the UN-HABITAT officials around the Complexo do Alemão, a conurbation of 16 different informal settlements, hosting nearly 100,000 families, the President added that close collaboration between the three levels of the Brazilian government had been essential to deliver this first group of apartments to families whose houses were demolished as part of a comprehensive upgrading programme.
While in Brazil, members of the UN-HABITAT mission undertook a careful review of the forum plans with their Brazilian counterparts from the Municipality of Rio, the State of Rio Government, the Federal Government of Brazil and the Ministry of Cities. The meetings covered security, transportation and accessibility, press and publicity issues, quality and capacity of the hotel facilities, the conference facilities, and the capacity of the venue, the budget and institutional agreements as well as the thematic content of the programme.
The forum in 2010 is expected to attract around 15,000 participants.