CityNet and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) reinvigorated the partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on October 23rd. The signing ceremony took place during the 43rd CityNet Executive Committee meeting in Suwon, South Korea.
Vijay Jagannathan, the Executive Director of CityNet, and Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the Executive Secretary of UNESCAP delivered opening remarks and signed the MOU as representatives of the two parties. In her address, Ms. Alisjahbana stated that “[in the face of] ever-increasing crises, cities and their networks must play a greater role than ever before. They must be leaders in forging cooperation, fostering just transitions, overcoming social inequalities and bringing people together to co-design solutions for achieving inclusive and resilient cities”, underscoring the role of networks like CityNet that is strategically positioned to spearhead these efforts in collaboration with UN ESCAP, its parent organization.
The MOU outlines a commitment to collaboratively strengthen the capabilities of national and local governments, with the overarching goal of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The emphasis is on actively supporting the exploration of sustainable development solutions tailored to each region and city, facilitated through the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform for the sharing of exemplary urban policies and knowledge. Key focus areas include the expansion of the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, the organisation of recognizing best practices, and the development of joint trainings and capacity building activities.
CityNet CEO Jeong Kee Kim expressed his anticipation to working with hand-in-hand UNESCAP, stating, “this agreement marks the beginning of a pivotal collaboration for the urban development in the Asia-Pacific region, and will open new avenues for cooperation and knowledge-sharing, enabling cities to collectively progress towards a better future.”
Erin Um is a Program Assistant at CityNet, where she assists in managing the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform and other related projects. Prior to working at CityNet, she worked at a humanitarian non-profit organization. She obtained a BA with a double major in Economics and International Relations. She can be reached at email@example.com.