The World Assembly of Islamic Cities (WAIC) summit was convened late April in the Iranian city of Qazvin to discuss sustainable urbanization according to the ideals of Islam. The fifth in a series of conferences, the WAIC seeks to provide a forum for exchange of approaches to sustainable Islamic Cities from technological, scientific, managerial, cultural and spiritual perspectives.
The event was presided over by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani, and Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar.
In his address, President Rouhani said, “”Houses must be a place for people to relax in, not a tool for making profit,” adding: “Cities must find legitimate and healthy source of income and the government is ready to cooperate and draft the required bills in this regard”.
On its part, UN-Habitat highlighted three key areas of its work- City Prosperity Initiative, Municipal Finance, and Youth and Livelihoods.
Marco Kamiya, the acting Coordinator of the Urban Economy Branch presented on the work UN-Habitat is doing describing that good urbanization is achieved with efficient municipal finance as a base for public policies. Douglas Ragan, Youth Unit leader presented on the Sustainable Development Goals related with cities and Youth while Reza Porvaziry, Global Advocate for UN-Habitat presented on the New Urban Agenda and opportunities and challenges for cities.
Over 800 Iranian and international guests took part in the summit with attendance from representatives from UN-Habitat, ambassadors, governors and a number of Mayors from Iraq, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Palestine, Indonesia, China, Morocco, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Prior to the meeting, the UN-Habitat delegation paid a visit to Minister of Sports and Youth, Masour Soltanifar to discuss activities on youth and livelihoods and the role of municipalities.