Message from the UN Secretary-General on World Cities Day

World Cities Day is a time to consider the pivotal role cities play in sustainable development. Cities are engines of economic growth and innovation that hold the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. They are also on the frontlines of today’s complex challenges, from the climate crisis to growing inequalities and political polarization.

But local authorities are struggling with limited support and resources, while demand for infrastructure, affordable housing, efficient transport, and social services is immense and growing. This year's theme, Financing Sustainable Urban Development, is a call to action.

Governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society, must work together to mobilize finance for resilient, sustainable cities. I am a strong advocate for equitable financing solutions at the global level. These must be used, together with innovative and diverse funding sources, to strengthen local financing strategies that are climate-friendly, inclusive and equitable.

The Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments I established recently will strengthen coordination to implement the SDGs, and make sure the voices of cities and regions are heard as we prepare for the Summit of the Future next year.

As we mark World Cities Day, let’s resolve to work together for urban areas that are not only engines of growth, but beacons of sustainability, resilience, and prosperity for all.