Dublin — The eighth biannual Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty concluded in Dublin today with bold promises to put words into action. More than 500 delegates from cities around the world met for two days to debate, discuss and deliberate on solutions to urban poverty challenges.
Thousands more attended virtually online, as this was the first WACAP Forum to take advantage of crowdsourcing, tapping into the experiences and expertise of people throughout the world for ideas and examples of how to best make cities smart, safe and sustainable. Through its social media approach, WACAP8 reached an astonishing number of 2.8 million followers online.
Hundreds of best practices in reducing urban poverty were presented at WACAP8, which concluded today in Dublin. Cities from across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas attended the Forum.
Among the best practices that were show-cased, UN Women brought city delegates from Port Moresby, Quito, Kigali, New Delhi and Cairo to showcase its "Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls" initiative. Dublin is the first developed city to join this programme, which is a big step forwards for the programme and is expected to have a positive impact on the safety within Dublin and other cities worldwide.
The delegates to the global forum were particularly interested in Edmonton's efforts to be a zero-waste city, and also its experience in working through public-private collaborations to make the capital city more efficient and responsive to citizen needs.
This is one example of a number of concrete solutions to real problems that WACAP8 has presented to city leaders and that will contribute to creating smarter, safer and more sustainable cities.
Sally Fegan-Wyles, Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, emphasized that "in order to end poverty in cities and to create a safe environment for all citizens, it is of the outmost importance to foster balanced partnerships between the public sector, the private sector and civil society." City leaders, she said, should identify what needs to be done, who is best placed to do that and what can they do to help them make that happen.
Peter Finnegan, Director of the Office of Economy and International Affairs said the Forum "created a link between the challenges that urban areas are faced with and the solutions that city leaders, in close collaboration with other actors, can offer to address these challenges and to enable their citizens to enjoy the right to a dignified life in the city."
The outcomes of this Forum will be shared with hundreds of cities through the WACAP network in order to ensure that the inspiring ideas, suggestions and solutions will enable city leaders to build on the momentum of this event and translate the outcomes into tangible results in their own specific context.
The World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) is a network of more than 900 cities working together to confront development challenges collectively. It was started by the United Nations Development Programme in 1996 following the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements.
The Dublin Forum is the eighth summit of city leaders. The Alliance supports its member-cities to mobilize individuals, governments, and all sectors of society to confront the many challenges of urban poverty and to share successes - and failures - with other cities.
Adam Rogers, WACAP Coordinator
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