Without good urban governance number of slum dwellers may rise Annan says

“Urban populations in developing countries will double over the next 30 years,” Mr. Annan said in a message yesterday to the Founding Congress of United Cities and Local Governments in Paris, read by Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).”The number of people living in slums and squatter settlements may also rise if local authorities do not take determined and concerted action to address the needs of the urban poor and the challenge of good urban governance,” he added.The challenges of a rapidly globalizing and urbanizing world need to be addressed primarily by the sphere of government that is closest to the citizens, he said.He reminded them that the UN General Assembly recently decided that local authorities could participate in the discussions by UN-HABITAT’s Governing Council.”This will allow your organization to strengthen its partnerships with governments in efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” Mr. Annan said. “After all, your efforts are essential not only to the Goal of improving lives for slum-dwellers, but to all the other Goals, from health, hunger and education to water, sanitation and sustainability, in general.”