After two days of deliberations that reinstated the importance of building resilience in cities and promoting initiatives and participation that comes from city mayors and councillors, the Resilient Cities Asia Pacific 2016 congress has entered the official closing day.
The Congress, held in conjunction with the 16th International Convention on Melaka Twin Cities, was officially opened by YB Datuk Abdul Rahman bin Dahlan, Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Malaysia, on March 2 and attended by YAB Datuk Seri Ir. Hj. Idris bin Hj. Haron, Chief Minister of Melaka.
The dignitary at the high level segment on closing day, YAB Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, said, “the country believes that development and conservation should go hand in hand so that efforts towards one do not hamper the other.” Following the global trend where cities are being seen as epicentres of change, we acknowledge that it is more relevant than ever to promote them now, he added. The minister also applauded Melaka for having its first GHG emissions inventory, that was build in partnership with ICLEI.
Gino van Begin, Secretary General at ICLEI thanked Melaka for hosting the 2016 Congress. “I am confident that the proceedings of the Congress will set up the tone for new development agenda that will be adopted at habitat III this year,” he said as he hoped that the messages from the meet will resonate for years to come.
Mariko Sato of UN Habitat asserted, “Community is immunity.” Sato steered many discussions during sessions at the Congress and shared her experiences of working at UN HABITAT.
At the segment, the chief minister reiterated the message that came from many sessions: this is opportune time to take the global agreements that were signed in 2015 forward and use them as tools of further development.