Sustainable air transport highlighted as key enabler for New Urban Agenda at Habitat III
ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu attended the recent United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held in Ecuador, helping to ensure inclusion of the socio-economic benefits of sustainable air transport in the event’s ‘New Urban Agenda’ – a visionary set of inclusive and action-oriented principles to guide transformative urban development worldwide in the next twenty years.
Speaking at the High-level Roundtable on Urban Inclusion and Prosperity, and at the Special Session on Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services, Dr. Liu highlighted that the socio-economic benefits of air connectivity can only be maximized when the many natural synergies between urbanization and aviation infrastructure development are fully leveraged.
The ICAO Secretary General also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director, which will provide an enhanced platform for cooperation between the two United Nations bodies and help ensure concrete progress.
Outcomes of a pilot project on sustainable airports which ICAO had previously undertaken with UN-Habitat were also discussed at the conference, both through an exhibition and through a session delivered by Mr. Franklin Hoyer and Mr. Barry Kashambo, ICAO’s Regional Directors for South America and the Eastern and Southern Africa. Mr. Kashambo further delivered an address during the Special Session on Transport and Mobility.
Dr. Liu further participated in the United Nations’ Forum on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development that took place as part of Habitat III. She called for further progress on the rights of persons with disabilities, in terms of both accommodation and inclusiveness.
While in Ecuador, Dr. Liu took the opportunity to meet with Mr. Boris Córdova González, Minister of Transport and Public Works at which she stressed the importance of supporting sustainable air transport within national development plans. She also met with Ambassador Fernando Yépez Lasso, Vice-Minister of External Affairs and Policy Integration, and Mr. Álex Pérez, Vice-Minister of Transport and Public Works, and Mr. Giovanni Dillon, Director General of Civil Aviation. Mr. Iván Arellano, ICAO Council Representative for Ecuador and Mr. Hoyer accompanied Dr. Liu for the meetings.