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Nairobi, 26 Apr 11

A Private Sector Strategy Meeting held on Thursday 14th April as a side event of the 23rd session of the Governing Council gathered about twenty representatives of the private sector, including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the US Chamber of Commerce and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as representatives of companies such as BASF Social Foundation, Capital Markets for the Marginalized, Veolia Environment, Siemens, Philips, Arcadis, GDF-Suez, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Mega Consultores.

Private Sector Strategy Meeting, Nairobi, 14 April 2011 - UN-HABITAT 23rd Governing Council From the front to the back : Mr. Charles N. Kahutu - KNCC, Mr. Guido Peters- Philips; Mr. Stéphane Quéré - Gdf-Suez and WBCSD; Ms. Katarina Felgenhauer - Basf Foundation; Mr. Luis Armando Trejo - MEGA Consultores; Mr. André Dzikus - UN-HABITAT; Ms. Taryn Bird - USCC; Mr. Joe Hooper - UN-HABITAT; Mr. Nicolas Dutreix and Mr. Cédric Baecher - Veolia Environment; Ms. Raphaelle Vignol - UN-HABITAT

Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos presented his vision on the future of cities and thanked the private sector for supporting the urban agenda, stating their key role as development partners: 'Cities are the place of innovation and interrelations. It is now clear that we cannot build the city without the Private Sector (...) We need to help cities and private sector understand each other and build on productive alliances'. Dr. Clos particularly alerted the audience on the challenge of creating wealth and employment while reducing energy consumption in cities.

Participants engaged in a dialogue on the main urbanization challenges that are getting too complex and resource-driven to be addressed by the public sector alone. The private sector is centered on economic performance hence equipped to deal with the complexity of those challenges, but also ready to harness the benefits of the tremendous potential of cities. The private sector is also adaptable, able to change according to new realities and demands, and is more prepared for proactive investment and mechanisms that allow for continuous improvement of approaches.

A night scene of Nairobi city, Kenya 2011.

Participants reaffirmed their commitment to investing their resources and competencies in supporting sustainable urban development practices. In particular, they discussed ways to move forward with the Core Business Principles for Sustainable Urbanization, prepared by previous working groups and presented during the fifth session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. They agreed on a road map to turn business principles into key actions while integrating them into UN-HABITAT priorities.

In order to concretize their engagement, they established the Urban Private Sector Advisory Board (UPSAB) which role will be to foster cooperation and partnership between Private Sector entities and UN-HABITAT, through dialogue and partnership development. This new advisory board also aims at providing leading-edge advice, information and expertise that contribute to address the challenges of sustainable urbanization.

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