[URBANTH-L]World Urban Forum III, Vancouver, Canada

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Mon May 23 13:31:54 EDT 2005

World Urban Forum III, Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada, 19 to 23 June 2006

UN-HABITAT and the Canadian government have started preparations for the 3rd
World Urban Forum, a meeting that will bring together public and private
institutions, experts and decision-makers from around the world to discuss
the key urban challenges facing the world today. The 3rd World Urban Forum
will take place in Vancouver, Canada, from 19 to 23 June 2006.
It is projected that in the next fifty years, two-thirds of humanity will be
living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimize burgeoning
poverty in cities and improve the urban poor's access to basic facilities
such as shelter, clean water and sanitation.

The number of people attending the World Urban Forum (WUF) has risen sharply
from 1,200 at the 1st World Urban Forum in Nairobi in 2002
(http://www.unhabitat.org/uf/index.htm), to 4,400 at the 2nd World Urban
Forum in Barcelona in 2004 (http://www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2004/default.asp).
The Forum is successful because it provides for the effective participation
of non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, urban
professionals, academics, governments, local authorities and national and
international associations of local governments. It gives all partners a
common platform in the conceptual, preparatory and formal discussions.

The WUF differs from UN governing bodies because it does not follow the
formal rules of procedure that usually govern official UN meetings. The
working arrangements of the Forum are deliberately kept simple and
relatively informal to generate a healthy and inclusive debate on urban
The 3rd World Urban Forum will retain the format of dialogue meetings that
provide the main focus of the Forum, and networking events that allow
Habitat Agenda Partners to meet a narrower, more specialized audience.
UN-HABITAT has also taken into account feedback on the 2nd World Urban Forum
from participants to further improve the organization of the next Forum. The
agency will announce the main theme of the 3rd World Urban Forum based on
the results of initial consultations with its partners.

In his invitation to participants of the 2nd World Urban Forum to join
Canada and UN-HABITAT to the next Forum , Canada 's Minister for Labour and
Housing, Mr. Joe Fontana, observed that "a thread across all countries is
that each of our citizens is working to build a safe and healthy life for
themselves, their families and their communities. The World Urban Forum
brings us together to exchange information, insights and best practices on
the challenges of the new millennium."
The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, expressed her
pleasure at hosting the next World Urban Forum in Vancouver , Canada , the
site of the 1976 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, which led
to the establishment of a UN agency dedicated to human settlements
development two years later. At the conclusion of the 2nd World Urban Forum
in Barcelona, Mrs. Tibaijuka told participants: "As we close this final
session of the second World Urban Forum, the focus will now shift to
Vancouver and Canada, site of the third World Urban Forum in 2006. I would
like to thank the Government of Canada for inviting us to return to
Vancouver , the birthplace of UN-HABITAT in 1976. "

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