October 8, 2012
APECF won “ICCC Citizen of the World” Award
The World Habitat Day and the International Day of Older Persons designated by the United Nations (UN) falls on the first Monday of every October. At the invitation of the head office of the United Nations in New York, the Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (APECF) attended a high-level working session on “Urban Futures: South Meets North”. The session commended the outstanding contribution made by APECF in this field, and Mr. Xiao Wunan, the Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, was presented with the “ICCC Citizen of the World” Award by H.E. Mr. Josephine Ojiambo, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN.
As what is learned, APECF has been working together with relevant organizations including the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for many years to promote the concept of human habitat. Meanwhile, in order to help realize the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, APECF has actively engaged in organizing the International Student Design Competition, in which works by Liang Tian and other students from the School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, were among the list of winners.
In this working session, Mr. Xiao Wunan, the Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, delivered a significant speech concerning “New Thinking on Urban Development in Emerging Nations”. He emphasized that the close relationship between successful urbanization and the sustainable development of natural resources and the environment. Mr. Xiao advocated concerted efforts by governments, academic institutions and the business world to identify new solutions to balancing this relationship.
Examples of the “New Thinking” identified by Mr. Xiao include efforts by APECF on the Lumbini Recovery Plan in Nepal and Qianhai Project in Shenzhen, China. Both of these projects integrate the concepts of a livable environment by encouraging culture renaissance, religious integration, and system innovation, etc. with the idea of sustainable urban development.
At the recent UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum, held in Naples in September 2012, Dr. Joan Clos, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, gave positive and high praise to APECF’s work, and put forward many constructive suggestions as well.
In addition, Dr. Joan Clos delivered an address on “Changing Cities, Building Opportunities” at the session. He emphasized the urgency of the transformation of urban development and stressed that urbanization should be a source instead of a result of the development; besides, he noted that efforts should be made to create a new type of intelligent and people-oriented city in the 21st century.
International groups comprising government officials, world business and financial elites, entrepreneurs, technology innovators, educators, cultural experts and artists shared and exchanged their insights and ideas on the sustainable development of the urban future, and in-depth discussions were made on relevant issues as well.