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Habitat to participate as speakers and panelists in various sessions at the 9th World Urban Forum held in Kuala Lumpur from 7-13 February 2018, with the theme, “Cities 2030 – Cities For All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”.


The World Urban Forum is the world’s premier conference on urban issues attracting broad participation and attended by an astounding 23,000 participants. Organized and convened by UN-Habitat, the Forum has become one of the most open gatherings in the international arena, for exchanging views and experiences on the challenges of rapid and, mostly unplanned, urbanization. An unusual weakness in the program’s design was the lack of focus on urban water and wastewater. The failure to recognize these key drivers of urban economic growth and social stability was perhaps due less to ignorance but more on account of attention to housing, infrastructure, and environmental issues in the urban world. Nonetheless, the conference inspired new thinking in several areas.


Mr. Thapan addressed the role of water in urban planning, the role of utilities and the work of WaterLinks as a prime contributor to capacitating water and wastewater operators in urban Asia to improve their operational efficiencies in service delivery. On the other hand, Ms. Flor presented the role of water utilities in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. Another session speaker was Mr. Khairul Effendy, CEO of Ranhill Water Services, one the mentor utilities in WaterLinks’ Water Operators Partnership Program.


The event culminated in the formulation of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Cities-2030 which is intended to pave the way towards the localization and scale-up of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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