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UN-backed meeting to focus on ways of creating 'people-centred' cities

UN-backed meeting to focus on ways of creating 'people-centred' cities

Representatives of the most active network of local authorities and other urban-related organizations in Asia and the Pacific will gather later this month in Bangkok at a United Nations-backed Congress to discuss how to involve the poor in creating better cities.

Known as "CITYNET," the Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements is co-organizing the meeting from 29 October to 2 November under the theme of "People-Centred Cities in a Globalizing World." To be held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, the Congress is also backed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Both ESCAP and CITYNET view people-centred cities as "economically productive, socially just, ecologically sustainable, globally connected, politically participatory and culturally vibrant."

Over 200 mayors, deputy mayors, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations are expected to participate in the event, which will be inaugurated by Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.

The meeting will tackle issues through an innovative "Bazaar of Ideas" involving symposia by such organizations as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), ESCAP and the European Union. Participants will also decide on future CITYNET programmes at its Fifth General Council Meeting, which will be held as part of the Congress.

CITYNET was established and run as an ESCAP project from 1989 to 1994. Now fully independent with its own secretariat based in Yokohama, Japan, CITYNET maintains close links with ESCAP and other UN organizations.