On 9 and 11 February 2020 during the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9-12 February 2020, twelve mayors from countries in Asia and the Pacific participated in capstone sessions on financing, project bankability, and frontier technologies for sustainable urban development. The sessions were part of the Asia-Pacific Mayors Academy – a joint initiative organised by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN-Habitat, UNU-IAS, UCLG-ASPAC and APRU.
During the first session on 9 February, mayors further advanced the discussion on development financing frameworks with guest speakers from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, United World Infrastructure, Gateway Global LLP, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the International Society of City and Regional Planners. Mayors also presented their progress after conducting initial implementation on selected areas of work following training in Penang, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana (Executive Secretary, ESCAP) and Atsushi Koresawa (Regional Representative, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, UN-Habitat) delivered opening remarks highlighting the importance to continue and expand the Mayors Academy to produce tangible results. H.E. Abdul Baqi Popal (Deputy Minister of Municipalities, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) chaired the session.
The second session on 11 February discussed technology and innovation on urban transformations. Guest presentations were delivered by Cisco Systems, ADB, World Bank, Habitat for Humanity International, and Mastercard City Next. The session also sought to integrate lessons learned and experiences shared by mayors throughout the Mayors Academy course. Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) chaired the session. During her opening remarks, she underlined the need to examine if innovations are being put to help cities deliver on the societal benefits and ensure that no one is left behind, both of which are central to the achievement of the SDGs.
The session concluded with a certificate presentation to mayors for their participation and contribution in the Mayors Academy. Alumni network among the mayors will be arranged to foster and continue engagement advocating for sustainable urban development in the Asia-Pacific region.