The southern Italian city of Naples has offered to host the sixth session of the World Urban Forum. Scheduled for the first week of September 2012, the theme of the Forum will be The Urban Future.
"We look forward to working with UN-HABITAT and other partners to make the next World Urban Forum even more successful than the previous ones," he said.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos thanked the Government of Italy and the Naples municipality for agreeing to host the event, adding that the ancient city globally renowned for its history of art and culture was a "fantastic" city that had many lessons to offer to the world in terms of urbanization.
"The Forum has become the preeminent conference on all things urban. People come together at these events to exchange notes and learn from each other about the problems and opportunities offered by urbanization," Dr. Clos said.
Dr. Clos and Mr. Oddati were speaking on the sidelines of the twenty-third session of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council in Nairobi.
The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
In the space of a few short years, the Forum has turned into the world's premier conference on cities. Since the first meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, the Forum has grown in size and stature as it travelled to Barcelona in 2004, Vancouver 2006, Nanjing in 2008 and Rio de Janeiro in 2010.
The Forum is one of the most open and inclusive gatherings of its kind on the international stage. It brings together government leaders, ministers, mayors, diplomats, members of national, regional and international associations of local governments, non-governmental and community organizations, professionals, academics, grassroots women's organizations, youth and slum dwellers groups as partners working for better cities.