This undated photo shows the national flags of the BRICS countries member – (from left) Brazil, India, Russia, China and South Africa. (PHOTO / AFP)
NAIROBI - Ministers and senior officials from BRICS member states on Tuesday pledged enhanced partnership aimed at promoting sustainable urban development in the face of multiple challenges including pollution and climate emergencies.
The ministers and senior officials from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa who met on the sidelines of the second session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly, underway in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, resolved to share best practices that seek to hasten urban renewal.
Ni Hong, minister of housing and urban-rural development of China, stressed that BRICS member countries should leverage knowledge sharing and practical cooperation in their quest to establish resilient, smart and green cities.
"Our aim is to promote high-quality urban development and enhance mutual learning," Ni remarked, adding that regular high-level exchanges are very important to realize sustainable urbanization among BRICS member countries.
Ni Hong, minister of housing and urban-rural development of China, stressed that BRICS member countries should leverage knowledge sharing and practical cooperation in their quest to establish resilient, smart and green cities
The informal meeting for high-level representatives from relevant ministries of BRICS member states sought to rally ministers, diplomats and experts toward a shared vision of renewing their rapidly growing urban centers.
Mmamoloko Kubayi, minister of human settlements of South Africa, said fidelity to multilateralism, strategic partnerships and peer learning will boost the realization of a green agenda for cities and towns.
Kubayi noted that by hosting the BRICS summit in August, South Africa will be at the forefront of advocating for policies that promote inclusive, green and sustainable urbanization.
In addition, Kubayi said the BRICS summit offers a platform for emerging economies to forge solidarity aimed at tackling threats to sustainable urbanization including climate change, pollution and inadequate access to basic services.
Transforming the lives of urban population in a world grappling with geopolitical tensions, inflation, climate change and lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a major priority for BRICS nations, said Guilherme Simoes Pereira, national secretary for peripheries, Ministry of Cities of Brazil.
Mmamoloko Kubayi, minister of human settlements of South Africa, said fidelity to multilateralism, strategic partnerships and peer learning will boost the realization of a green agenda for cities and towns
Pereira called on BRICS countries to prioritize revamping human settlements for the urban poor besides coming up with domestic policies that stimulate investments in affordable housing, water supply and health.
Anastasia Mikhaylova, head of the Department of International Relations, Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of Russia, said upholding the BRICS founding ideals will be key to realizing shared prosperity, peace and harmony in urban centers.
Mikhaylova noted that BRICS member countries have enormous technical and human resource potential that should be harnessed to re-engineer cities and convert them into hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Satinder Pal Singh, additional secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs of India, said by forging stronger partnerships, the BRICS nations will be well-placed to reap economic, social and ecological benefits linked to sustainable urban growth.
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