World Green Economy Summit 2018: Silk Road Mayors Discuss South-South Cooperation for Smart Green Cities and Tourism

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Dubai UAE, 25 Oct 2018: The Silk Road Mayor’s Meeting on South-South Cooperation in Smart Green Cities and Tourism held during the World Green Economy Summit 2018  was organized jointly by The World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), and the Maritime Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance (MCSR-CA).

Sixty participants representing 20 cities in Africa, Arab States, Asia, Europe and the CIS regions attended the meeting. Mayors, municipality and state government officials, and institutional partners of the MCSR-CA and the WGEO networks; as well as representatives from international and regional organizations, including the Turkic Council, UNESCO and UNIDO, shared solutions as well as challenges faced by cities from the South in promoting smart green cities and tourism.

Eng. Waleed Salman, Board Member, World Green Economy Organization and EVP Business Development and Excellence at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; Madam Liang Dan, Chairperson, Board of Directors, MCSR-CA; and H.E. Ambassador Baghdad Amreyev, Secretary-General, Turkic Council, addressed at the Opening Segment.

“The concept of smart city is not static,” said H.E. Mr. Norbert Kurilla, State Secretary of Slovak Republic Ministry of Environment. “Being smart is about the synergy of multiple measures that enable a good life and a healthy environment for current and future urban dwellers,” he continued, emphasizing that “Local and regional authorities occupy a unique position because they are closest to the decisions that affect people directly.”

“The transition process towards green economy is seen as an opportunity for cities to benefit,”expainedH.E. Mr. Norbert Kurilla.“In particular by enhancing and revitalising their infrastructure, improving services through the use of smart technologiers, increasing energy and water efficiency and protecting local resources and the environment.”

Dr. Hassim Hussein from UNIDO Bahrain Investment Promotion Centre shared UNIDO’s initiatives and work done in promoting innovations and entrepreneurship along the “Belt and Road” at the city level. Mr. Peter Debrine, Senior Project Officer, World Heritage Centre, UNESCO shared UNESCO’s work in promoting economic development while balancing indigenous culture, environment and natural resources.

Mayors and city representatives from Banjul, Bishkek, Chongqing, Nepal, Mauritius, Mongolia and Uzbekistan shared their ongoing initiatives and challenges they have faced in promoting sustainable development. Discussions also touched upon the domains of green investment and entrepreneurship promotion, the use of digital technology to accelerate the shift to the green economy model, as well as engagement of women and youth in the tourism sector toward building prosperity and resilient community.

Statements of Intent were concluded with 7 cities from The Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nepal and Uzbekistan aiming at supporting information sharing, dialogue and collaborations among cities through the networks of the MCSR-CA and the “Smart and Sustainable Cities Platform” of WEGO; and promoting South-South exchange of good practices and capacity development in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through joint events and activities.