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UN launches campaign to urge 'smart' transition to sustainable cities

UN launches campaign to urge 'smart' transition to sustainable cities

India Blooms News Service | | 27 May 2016, 05:17 am
New York, May 27 (Just Earth News):Two United Nations entities have launched a global initiative to advocate for public policy that will promote use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a catalyst for the transition to smart sustainable cities.

The initiative, the United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC), will assist the response to Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the initiative is open to all UN agencies, municipalities, industry, academia and other relevant stakeholders, and will focus on the integration of ICTs in urban operations and build on existing international standards and key performance indicators.

Many UN bodies have expressed their intention to join the Advisory Board of the U4SSC global initiative.

“ICTs have become central to innovation in almost every sphere of social and economic activity, making collaboration essential in maximizing the contribution of ICTs to sustainable development,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

“We live in a connected world and we see new fascinating markets and products where physical products and services and digital technologies merge and move together,” said ECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach.

“The digital revolution can help us create intelligent transport, smart energy systems, resource efficiency and transparent and open societies. It can help us create sustainable development. However, to achieve this we need trust and predictability, and we need common and neutral standards that can work across borders and technologies,” he added.

The U4SSC was launched at the ITU-ECE Forum on “Shaping smarter and more sustainable cities: striving for sustainable development goals” held in Rome, Italy, 18-19 May.

ITU and ECE presented a set of key performance indicators they have developed to measure the “smartness” and “sustainability” of cities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dubai, Singapore, Manizales, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Valencia, Rimini and other selected cities have already agreed to trial these key performance indicators.

The forum concluded with the Rome Declaration, which presents a 10-point manifesto for the transition to smart sustainable cities. The declaration promotes the use of internationally agreed key performance indicators and technical standards in service of sustainable development objectives in the urban context, and highlights the value of inclusive e-governance models and peer-learning among city leaders.

Photo: UN-Habitat/Julius Mwelu

Source: www.justearthnews.com

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm