The Minister of Planning meets the Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program to support cooperation
she met dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, met Maimouna Mohamed Sharif, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) to strengthen cooperation, on the sidelines of her participation in the activities of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2023 at the United Nations in New York, which was held from 10 to 19 July under the title “Accelerating recovery from the Corona virus and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”; The meeting was attended by Dr. Mona Essam, Assistant Minister for Sustainable Development Affairs, Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek, Egypt’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and Egypt’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Al-Saeed explained that the meeting came at a pivotal moment in approaching the summit of the Sustainable Development Goals, which presents a wide range of development challenges and provides a unique opportunity to radically change course in the middle of the road to the 2030 Agenda.
Al-Said talked about the Cairo Center for the Settlement of Sustainable Development Goals, which the Ministry announced that it would host it on the sidelines of the Twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties in cooperation with UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Program, looking forward to the habitat’s support for the center as one of the most prominent ongoing projects.
Al-Said explained that the center represents a unique opportunity to build the capabilities necessary for innovative work, and access methodologies and tools to localize the sustainable development goals, noting the Egyptian government’s enthusiasm to host the first local center 2030 of its kind in the region.
Al-Said added that the main purpose of the Cairo Center is to be an Egyptian center of excellence in the goals of sustainable development and the goals and aspirations of achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063, adding that the Ministry of Planning, with the support of UN-Habitat and the UNDP teams in Cairo, was able to define the vision, mission, goals and main activities of the local center in Cairo.
El-Said affirmed that Egypt is currently focusing on localizing the sustainable development goals at the governorate level, with many efforts being made in cooperation with the United Nations system. El-Said also expressed her appreciation for Mrs. Maimouna’s participation in the side event on the sidelines of the high-level political forum to present the Egyptian experience in preparing local voluntary reports.
Al-Said referred to the support currently provided by the United Nations Development Program to the Ministry of Planning in completing the second edition of the reports of the localization of sustainable development goals for 27 Egyptian governorates, announcing an increase in the coverage of indicators from 32 indicators in 2020 to about 45 indicators in 2023.
El-Said discussed Cairo’s hosting of the World Urban Forum next year, adding that this is the first time in more than 20 years that the forum returns to the African continent, which gives Egypt great pride in choosing this opportunity.
Al-Said explained that the Ministry of Planning, in cooperation with UN-Habitat, organized a workshop on applying the “DEGURBA” degree of urbanization approach to produce comparable data in Egypt “in May 2023,” adding that this workshop is the first step towards putting the partnership into practice as the DEGURBA project will be presented, with its own methodology, and applied training on its use to measure some indicators of the sustainable development goals, in addition to agreeing on an implementation plan to implement this approach in Egypt based on what was discussed during the workshop.
El-Said also stressed that the establishment of a sustainable environmental system and thus sustainable cities remains a top priority for Egypt, as embodied in the 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy in Egypt and one of its main priorities for the Decade of Action to achieve the goals of sustainable development, adding that sustainable growth can only be achieved with the support of a more dynamic participation of the private sector and international partners.
For her part, Mrs. Maymouna Mohammed thanked her for inviting her to participate in the side event organized by the Ministry on the sidelines of the forum’s activities, as well as the efforts made in terms of localizing the sustainable development goals and dealing with the matter seriously.
Mohamed also praised the cooperation with the United Nations Human Settlements Program in Egypt regarding the preparation of the World Urban Forum, and also stressed the importance of doing publicity for the forum from now on to agree on a specific format for the forum and the participation of all stakeholders, explaining that the settlement process will become one of the most high-impact initiatives at the upcoming summit of sustainable development goals.