PRETORIA– Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is leading the South African delegation to the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF 9), which begins in in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday under the theme, “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”.

WUF 9, which runs until Feb 13, brings together government leaders, diplomats and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to examine one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today, rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.

The forum was established by the United Nations to ensure that member states and the world respond to ensure proper and sustainable management of urbanization across the globe. It also advises the Executive Director of UN-Habitat and UN-Habitat’s Governing Council on key issues which should inform the work of UN Habitat and all key stakeholders in the field of human settlements and urban development.

Issues, including eradicating the ill effects of urbanization, poverty, unemployment, inequality, as well as managing the negative consequences of climate change on communities, will receive attention at WUF 9.

The South African delegation will, together with other delegations from Africa, ensure that the policy positions of the region are placed on the world agenda to allow Africa to meet the challenges of urbanization.

Sisulu said here Tuesday that following the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by the UN, South Africa had resolved to create its own Implementation Framework for the New Urban Agenda to ensure that the country tackled urbanization collectively.

As a developing country, we are attending this forum to share with the international community our success and challenges in dealing with problems of rapid urbanisation. This will help us to better plan our programmes around urbanization, she added.

South Africa’s preparation for WUF 9 had included hosting the Human Settlements Development Summit and the Urban Conference in 2017, paving the way for the improvement of the South African Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF).

The establishment of the National Forum on Human Settlements and Urban Development also provided a platform for the continuing engagement and collaboration with role players and actors to respond to the global debate on human settlements and urban development.

The South African delegation to Kuala Lumpur includes Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks and representatives from the departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs; and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as provincial governments and the South African Local Government Association.

WUF 9 will further contribute to global mobilization towards the UN’s Vision 2030 goal on sustainable urban development.