Welcome address of Mr. Qassim Sultan, Director-General Dubai Municipality at the opening of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA), Dubai, February 18, 2002.

    Your Excellencies
    Honorable Mayors

    Distinguished UNACLA delegates

    Ladies and Gentlemen

    It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all, our distinguished guests, here in our city at the opening of the Fourth meeting of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your presence and for your support to our Advisory Committee and our present meeting which I believe will come to further strengthen the role of local authorities in promoting a common goal of sustainable improvement of urban life.

    Our cities are playing an increasingly larger role in policy and decision-making as they are facing numerous challenges on a wide scale of issues ranging from urban
    planning to city management. These challenges are further complicated by the constant and ever increase in urban migration with people moving from rural areas to the city, a fact that places a lot of pressure on the level and quality of services and facilities offered by the cities to its residents.

    It is with this respect that we pin our hopes on the city-to-city cooperation and other UNACLA working groups to help us not only overcome the challenges that our cities are facing but also offer solutions that will lead to the development and prosperity of our communities and thus realize, for the common good of all, a positive and effective policy for future generations to benefit from.

    I do strongly believe that the committees focus on city-to-city cooperation offers us an unlimited potential to boost and support the on-going efforts by local authorities from all over the world to implement the Habitat Agenda through the setting up of effective partnership between the cities and the central states. Such partnership will support the free flow and exchange of information and expertise that we hope will consolidate the cooperation between central and local governments.

    I am also hopeful that our meeting will come to support the various issues that are on our agenda such as the follow-ups on the special session on Istanbul +5 and on the resolutions of the commission on Human Settlements at its 18th session on local authorities within the framework of the Habitat Agenda.

    I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Advisory committee success and that our gathering succeeded in laying down deeper roots and adopts policies that foster and support the activities of local authorities so as to enable them to meet the future challenges that are laid before them and help contribute to a better future for our communities.

    I thank you and welcome you once again in Dubai and do hope that you come to enjoy your brief stay with us.

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