United Nations: Secretary-Generalís Video Message For Republic of Korea Centreís Opening Stresses Its Partnership With Un-Habitat In Cause Of Sustainable Development
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonís video message for the International Urban Training Centre, as delivered in Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea, today, 3 May:
I am delighted to send my best wishes on the opening of the International Urban Training Centre. I thank Governor Kim Jin-sun of Gangwon Province for this initiative, and Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka and UN-HABITAT for their support. With this new Centre, Gangwon Province and UN-HABITAT are joining forces in the cause of sustainable urban development.
Your mission has never been more important. The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly visible. Human settlements in coastal areas will increasingly bear the brunt of extreme weather phenomena and floods. Poor city dwellers are among the most vulnerable to environmental damage, whether they live in areas prone to disaster, close to waste dumps, or far from safe drinking water.
While cities are engines of economic growth and cultural innovation, they also contribute significantly to environmental degradation, through their enormous needs for energy, water and land. Cities must therefore shoulder their responsibility -- through better transport systems, better building technologies, better energy use and better urban planning.
The United Nations family is fully committed to this cause -- especially through the work of UN-HABITAT and the United Nations Environment Programme. This Centre has a key role to play, by training policymakers, municipal workers, the private sector and civil society.
I wish you every success in the years ahead.
Thank you very much.
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