7 September 2023, Suva, Fiji – The 6th Pacific Urban Forum, concluded with remarks by Fiji’s Minister of Local Government and Housing Maciu Nalumisa on 7 September 2023 and the adoption of the Suva Statement for a Sustainable Urban Pacific.
The 6th Pacific Urban Forum (PUF) was The Forum was hosted for the first time by the Pacific Islands Forum in partnership with the Fiji Government and Suva City Council and organized by the Pacific Urban Partnership, chaired by UN-Habitat and its key partners: CLGF; UN ESCAP; EAROPH; ICLEI; Home in Place; Melbourne Center for Cities; Monash University; Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy; Local 2030 Islands Network and UNDP. Held every four years, the forum brings together a diversity of representatives from across national and local governments, policy makers, urban development practitioners and urban planners, civil society organizations, traditional leaders, local and international academia, private sector and development partners, among others to discuss the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in the Pacific.
The meeting was opened by the Hon. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Prime Minister of Samoa who set the scene by reminding the participants that the “Pacific Urban Forum is an inclusive, multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue on the linkages between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of equitable development, and what creates a sustainable urban future for the Pacific […]. This is the first time that the Pacific Urban Forum is being hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum providing a unique platform for further regional considerations of urban issues in the Pacific”.
Almost 300 participants from 11 Pacific Island Developing Countries, regional and global development partners and urban professionals discussed key urban issues in 35 thematic breakout sessions with a particular focus on climate change and SDG localization. In 8 plenaries a way forward was charted; some highlights include:
- Concrete recommendations were developed on how to deepen the regional cooperation on sustainable urban development through subnational and local voluntary reviews, SDG localization and through linking the Pacific New Urban Agenda with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent;
- Suggestions were brought forward to recognize the Pacific Urban Forum as the region’s apex multi-stakeholder forum on urban development and convene a Ministerial Meeting at the next PUF;
- Development partners were requested to dedicate more resources to sustainable and climate resilient urban development in the region.
- Building on the momentum generated at the forum participants agreed to carry its key messages to the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum; the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2024, the twelfth session of the World Urban Forum, the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States COP28, including the submission of the Forum’s climate change discussions as a Pacific local Stocktake.
The Hon. Dr. Kobby Bomareo, MP, Minister for Housing, Papua New Guinea expressed the importance of taking multilevel climate action to the global negotiating table: “I look forward to the second ministerial meeting at COP28 as this is the key meeting on housing and urban development solutions to the climate crisis. Pacific Islands like Papua New Guinea have much to share when it comes to community resilience. But we also need new solutions and a redoubled global commitment to support our towns and cities in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and becoming climate resilient”.
The next Pacific Urban Forum will be held in Papua New Guinea.
For more information and updates visit the Pacific Urban Partnership pages.