United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Montenegro and Slovenia

Division for the Support to the National Council for Sustainable Development
Date: 6 – 10 January 2014
Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport
MNE–SI speaking points for 7thmeeting of OWG SDGs
· Cities are an important engine for economic growth and socioeconomic development. By
2030, about 60 percent of the global population will live in cities, while the amount of land
used for cities will be doubled. Yet the urban areas are already overcrowded and, particularly
in developing countries, suffer from deficiencies of clean water, electricity, and other
resources essential to the support of their populations and economies. The lack of access to
basic services and livelihood leads to increasing risk of discrimination, social exclusion and,
ultimately, violence and further roots people in poverty. In order to contribute to the
eradication of poverty, access to decent employment opportunities and adequate social
protection systems in cities should be provided. In designing appropriate policies, including
on addressing inequalities and crime, emphasis should be put on the protection of women,
children and youth, as well as stigmatized groups who face particular risks in this regard.
· We believe that urban development policies must be people-centered and holistic,
addressing different and specific challenges of urban sustainable development.
· While planned urbanization invites positive change in the multidimensional society, namely
maximizing human development and wellbeing and minimizing environmental impact,
unplanned urbanization is rightly viewed as a negative trend that brings about atrocious
consequences affecting every aspect of the society.
· Unplanned urbanization and settlements have negative effects on the health, access to
sanitation, security, housing and migration, as well as vulnerable agricultural land and
ecosystems. It can result in overconsumption and inefficiency when resources are limited
and should be used effectively. A new agenda for urban planning is necessary in ensuring
that cities not only become resource-efficient and low carbon-emitting, but go beyond that
and positively enhance the ecosystems which provide them with goods and services. Urban
areas should be transformed into regenerative cities that reduce their dependency on fossil
fuels, boost the deployment of renewable energy, reintroduce water into the hydrological
cycle and make sewage reprocessing and nutrient capture central to urban waste
management.
· Transforming urban infrastructure into regenerative systems consequently requires an
integrated approach, coordinated action and policy dialogue. Sustainable urban
development requires cooperation of public, private and civil society spheres in a multistakeholder
participatory process, a multi-sectoral approach among authorities, as well as
regional and global networks of cities. Enabling businesses to invest in future-just and
sustainable technology has critical role.
· Agglomeration requires that sustainable transportation systems be built. In our view,
transport is, without doubt, a social, economic and environmental issue, which can make key
contributions to the sustainable development. As such, it should be taken in into
consideration in elaborating the future UN post-2015 development agenda.
· Achieving sustainable urban and rural accessibility is a vital step in the overall improvement
of the urban and rural environment and maintenance of the economic viability of cities and
rural areas. Meeting environmental and transport objectives requires integrated approaches
combining transport, environmental and spatial planning.
· Achieving sustainable urban and rural accessibility requires the development of sustainability
goals and indicators, target setting and monitoring, along with policies aimed at improving
accessibility and not simply movement. Interconnection of accessibility, economic
development and environmental objectives should be the primary objective of transport
policies.
· An integrated multi-modal transport system, with the inclusion of safe and attractive
facilities for cycling and walking is required. This system needs to be safe, accessible and
affordable to everyone, as well as energy efficient in order to reduce greenhouse gas
emission and air pollution. In this endeavour, cooperation between governments with all
relevant stakeholders, namely private sector and civil society is of crucial importance.
· Allow me to point out our position that SDGs should be formulated through human rights
based approach. As we have stressed already at previous sessions, that respect for human
rights is an important prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.
· Before I conclude, I would like to recall our general position towards the elaboration of SDGs
that should be evidence-based and have measurable qualitative and quantitative indicators
that will help to ensure full implementation of the visions we are certain we will create
together in this process.