Foreign Policy

September 9, 2013

MOFA, Japan

We would like to cordially invite you to “International Conference on Future of Cities” on 20 October (Sunday), 2013, in Kitakyushu (Japan) to discuss how to achieve sustainable societies and green economy through integrating the objectives of environment, economy and society.  This conference will be held in a series of events during the “Kitakyushu Eco Month” in October 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the municipal organization of Kitakyushu City. It aims to enhance cooperation among cities, national governments and international organizations as well as to provide an international forum for knowledge-sharing and exchanging experience of best practices in global scale.

The details of the event are as follows. To register for this event, please send the filled form of the Annex by 1 October 2013 to

International Conference on Future of Cities
20 October 2013 (Sun)
Kitakyushu International Conference Center
3-9-30, Asano, Kokura-kita ku, City of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, 802-0001, Japan
English/Japanese (simultaneous translation)
Admission Fee:
Free(on a first-come first-served basis)
(1) 10:00-12:30
Realizing Sustainable City – Looking Towards the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Main Hall(Capacity: 300 people)

Currently, the international community including the United Nations has been working for establishing post-2015 development goals.This conference will be held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the municipal organization of Kitakyushu, the city promoting environmental-friendly urban development.The conference invites the representatives from the UN institutions working on the advancement of urban development to disseminate a strong message on the importance of sustainable urban development to the international community from Kitakyushu.

1st part Sustainable city~Current picture and challenges~
Panelists from the UN Secretariat in charge of post-2015 development goals, other UN agencies and local governments discuss the current international debates and issues on sustainable urban development
2nd part Panel Discussion
Following the introductive discussion, this panel discussion exchanges opinions as to how the cities have any importance for sustainable development of the world.It also discusses possible actions and approaches to disseminate the concept of urban city development from Japan to the world, including the developing countries.
Panelists (tbd):
Mr. WU Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Dr. Joan Clos, UN-HABITAT Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mr. Kenji Kitahashi, Mayor of Kitakyushu
Amb. Takehiro Kagawa, Director-General for Global Issues, MOFA, Japan
(2) 14:00-17:00
Promotion of Eco-Cities Network in South East Asia
Main Hall(Capacities: 300 people)

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations, with the aim of sustained prosperity and poverty reduction in developing countries, in order to support the development of industrial infrastructure. At the meeting, challenges and success stories will be discussed among the panelists involved in the promotion of Eco Cities and environmental-friendly urban development in major cities in Southeast Asia. Eco Cities are recognized as living cities, where the management and politicians seek solutions to combine growth, industrial development with quality of life of its citizens. Each city starts from a different position, with its own characteristics and specialities.

The meeting also introduces efforts of developed countries and environmental technology in Japan, and provides an opportunity for a mutual learning on various cases and a discussion on the promotion of sustainable cities and inter-city network.

14:00 - 14:10 Opening remarks
Dr. Taizo Nishikawa, Deputy to the Director General, UNIDO
14:10 - 14:30 UNIDO’s Eco-City initiative
Mr. Ludovic Bernaudat, Project Manager, UNIDO

The project aims to promote exchange of experience and the development of an Eco-Cities Network in South East Asia. In this project UNIDO will promote exchange of experience and cross-examination of good practices among cities in the region by structured peer review meetings in each of the participating cities with the ultimate goal to provide long-term, improved, and accelerated environment and continuous dialogue among Eco Cities in the region.

14:30 - 15:00 Peer Review for cities
Mr. Jan Dictus, Eco-City Expert, UNIDO

Peer Reviews among the participating cities will stimulate exchange and networking. The accent in these peer reviews is mutual learning, more than making a complete assessment of each city. Peers who act as ‘critical friends’, face similar issues; work in similar structures and with similar means. Each peer is familiar with the review issues and brings her/his own perspective and expertise to the exercise. The partner cities in the project will receive training and actively contribute to the reviews.

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 - 16:50 Presentation of leading Eco-City initiatives in South East Asia
Panelists from leading Eco-cities in Southeast Asia present why their city can be regarded as an Eco City. Various examples will be presented and discussed. The challenge lies within implementing green techniques and innovative concepts in existing, vibrant cities.
The following cities have been invited to participate in the panel discussion:
Cebu City, the Philippines
Iskandar, Malaysia
Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand
Da Nang, Vietnam
Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone, Fujian Province, China
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
16:50 - 17:00 Closing remarks
(3) 13:30-17:00
Mayors Forum: Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia
UNCRD、Kitakyushu City

Kitakyushu International Conference Centre, Japan (Capacity: 80 people)

This forum aims to discuss key policy frameworks and instruments to achieve urban green growth among not only Asian mayors but also mayors from OECD cities and UNCRD’s EST, 3Rs and IPLA networks. Although opportunities and challenges for urban green growth are different from one city to another, sharing knowledge and learning the diverse contexts will provide each city with potential avenues for developing and pursuing their own green growth actions.

13:30 - 13:45 Welcoming remarks from the co-chairs / Introduction
Mr. Rintaro Tamaki, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD
Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, UNDESA (tbc)
Mr. Kenji Kitahashi, Mayor of Kitakyushu, Japan
13:45 - 14:35 Roundtable discussion I: Green growth policy frameworks and instruments for Asian cities
Cities with various circumstances share policy opportunities and experiences to avoid locking into carbon intensive infrastructures and to enable decoupling of economic growth from environmental impacts in the rapid urbanisation and economic growth contexts. Topics include: land use and transportation, waste, water, wastewater, energy, and vulnerability to natural disasters. <Invitees are as follows>          
14:35 - 15:25 Roundtable discussion II: Key implementation issues for urban green growth
Participants discuss key implementation barriers for fostering urban green growth and how to overcome them. Topics include: awareness for environmental challenges among policy makers and citizens; understanding of the green growth concept; role of resource efficiency, 3Rs and EST for urban green growth; financing availability and financial instruments; capacity to create and implement urban green growth strategies. <Invitees are as follows>
15:25 - 15:55 Coffee break
15:55 - 16:45 Roundtable discussion III: Knowledge sharing and collaborative actions
In order to foster urban green growth, it will be effective for Asian cities to share results and facilitate a joint learning process together with other cities, implementation agencies and networks at equal footing. This could be in the form of joint workshops and peer learning, exchange through regional networks, etc. In this context, participants will discuss effective action options. <Invitees are as follows>          
16:45 - 17:00 Co-chairs’ Summary
<Preliminary list of cities invited>
City of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
City of Paris, France
City of Ahmedabad, India
Capital Province of Jakarta, Indonesia
City of Surabaya, Indonesia
City of Yokohama, Japan
City of Kawasaki, Japan
Vientian Capital City, Laos
City of Johor Bahru, Malaysia
City of Yangon, Myammar
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Philippines
City of Stockholm, Sweden
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Thailand
City of Chicago, United States
City of Hai Phong, Vietnam
Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam
For further information, please contact respective focal points as below.
  • “Realizing Sustainable city – Looking Towards the Post 2015 Development Agenda”  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Japan
  • “Promotion of Eco-Cities Network in South East Asia” UNIDO
  • “Mayors Forum: Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia” OECD

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