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Expert Group propose International Guidelines to shape the Sustainable Development of Cities

Fukuoka, Japan, 12 November 2014:Over thirty five experts met in from 11 to 12 November 2014 in Fukuoka, Japan. Participants came from Africa, America, Asia and Europe. They were nominees from national governments, local authorities (e.g.: United Cities and Local Governments - UCLG), development partners (e.g: World Bank, United Nations Centre for Regional Development -UNCRD, United Nations Centre for Regional Development -UNITAR, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD), associations of planners (e.g: International Society of City and Regional Planners - ISOCARP), research and academia, and civil society organizations from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

In her opening remarks, Ms Christine Platt, Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting recalled the statement of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General during in New York in 2012: “Our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities” She further stressed that the proposed Guidelines would set a key pathway for how this battle can be fought in order to achieve sustainable urbanization.

Experts finalised the drafting of the United Nations International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP). In accordance with the Resolution 24/3 of UN-Habitat Governing Council, experts will submit the 20 page draft Guidelines for consideration and further transmission to the 25th Governing Council of UN-Habitat in April 2015.

The proposed Guidelines constitute a global framework for improving policies, plans, designs and implementation processes for more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change.

Participants recommended that the proposed Guidelines be considered as an important tool to highlight the importance of sustainable urbanization in to the Post-2015 Development Agenda as well as the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), scheduled to take place in 2016.

Experts produced the Fukuoka Communiqué that endorsed the outcomes of the inclusive and participatory processes.

The Expert Group Meeting that took place in Fukuoka, Japan on the 11-12th November 2014 was the third of a series of events. The first meeting took place in Paris, France (24-25 October 2013) and the second one took place in Medellin, Colombia (10 April 2014), in conjunction with the 7th session of the World Urban Forum.

The process of drafting the proposed Guidelines had benefited from the financial and technical contribution from the Government of France through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism the Prefectural Government of Fukuoka, the Municipal Government of Fukuoka and Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka.

The Proposed IG-UTP complement the International Guidelines on Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities (2007) and the International Guidelines on Access to Basic Services for all (2009), which were adopted by the Governing Council of UN-Habitat and implemented in a number of countries.

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