ECOSOC Integration Segment: Statement by Ambassador Thoms on Sustainable Urbanization

May 29, 2014

(as delivered:)

Mr. Vice-President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Like many of you, Germany strongly believes in the huge potential of cities. Without their active participation we will not be able to seize the opportunities and to solve the challenges of the 21st century and to build the sustainable future we want.

Therefore, sustainable urbanization in our view needs to be prominently anchored in the Post-2015 Agenda. With this in mind, Germany, together with its Trio-Partners France and Swirtzerland, has suggested a dedicated urban goal.This goal should also foster development beyond urban boundaries, since cities and rural areas are closely interdependent:

-        Cities are economic hubs and markets for the rural economy and rural residents.

-        Cities have significant impact on ecosystems through their consumption and production patterns.

-        Health services and education facilities provided by cities are important social infrastructures that also serve the rural population.

Thus, a more spatial approach to our actions is required. National governments and local authorities need to get urban development right to make the rural population benefit from urbanization.

A dedicated urban goal should also strengthen the ability of cities to deliver efficient and effective development results through integrated planning, management and governance across all sectors. Sustainability needs these integrated approaches as well as investments targeting economic, ecological and social objectives.

Finally, Germany is of the opinion that the local level should be included into the design and implementation of the New Urban Agenda which we consider one of the major outcomes of Habitat III.

I thank you for your attention.

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