United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Denmark, Ireland and Norway

OWG 11: Comments by Norway, Denmark and Ireland on FA 10 - Sustainable cities and human settlements
Check against delivery

Given the growing importance of urban areas, and the related challenges and opportunities, many of the action areas included in the current text merit inclusion in the SDG framework. Whether or not this is best reflected through a dedicated goal is something we still have under consideration. We will continue to develop our position on this as we go along listening to other delegations in the room.

We will highlight in particular the following:

- We support target (a). Achieving universal access to adequate and affordable housing and basic services and the elimination of slum-like conditions will be essential to eradicate extreme urban poverty.

- We also support the emphasis in target (b) on access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport, essential to develop sustainable cities and to improve air quality.

- We support target (c) on enhancing capacities for integrated urban planning and management. We miss a target on sustainable waste and wastewater management as well as water leakage, challenges of special magnitude in urban areas. This could possibly be included under this area.

- Furthermore, we support target (e) on building resilience and adaptation to climate change and natural disasters.

- We appreciate the focus in action areas (f) and (g) on the importance of making cities safe and secure and accessible for all, particularly for women and girls as well as persons with disabilities.

- Good, inclusive, effective and accountable local governance is important to achieve all these targets and to make sure that the voice of the poor and marginalized is heard and their needs are met.

Finally, we find that there are important linkages between this and other focus areas, not least with energy and water. We will also emphasize the need for synergy between urban and rural areas. This is partly but not sufficiently addressed in current targets (c) and (d).