Bulgaria stressed to the UN the support of policies for balanced development of small and large settlements

Bulgaria stressed to the UN the support of policies for balanced development of small and large settlements

09 Feb 2020 | 18:26

Our country and 133 other countries discuss their regional policy at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Bulgaria supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and will continue to make efforts and take actions to implement it as an instrument that enables cities to turn global challenges into opportunities. This position was expressed by the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Denitsa Nikolova, who represents Bulgaria in the tenth UN World Urban Forum /WUF 10/. It is held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and the theme of the event is “Cities of Opportunity: Connecting Culture and Innovation”.  The official opening was today by Ms. M. Mohd Sharif - Executive Director of the UN Habitat Programme and H.E. Falah Mohamed Al Ahbabi – Member of the Executive Board and Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport of the United Arab Emirates.

18,000 people from 134 countries have registered to participate in the World Urban Forum.  Among them are 80 countries’ ministers responsible for regional development, public works and housing policies, 70 mayors of major cities around the world, and more than 340 keynote speakers at the various thematic meetings accompanying the urban forum agenda.  

During a meeting of line ministers, Deputy Minister Nikolova also noted that countries must make increasing efforts to achieve balanced territorial development through an integrated approach to investment. This will ensure funding and better development of smaller and peripheral settlements in order to reduce negative demographic trends and increase their economic competitiveness, as well as sustainable and balanced growth in all regions.  It is necessary to focus on the specific geographical characteristics and resources of the territory in order to achieve a better result, taking into account local potentials and needs. “This would reduce imbalances and slow down migration processes in Europe,” she said.  Nikolova also noted that in the 2021-2027 period our country will focus on cohesion policy, directing national and European investments in all types of settlements through multi-sectoral funding.

Denitsa Nikolova pointed out that the topic of the world forum emphasises the interaction between culture and innovation as levers for promoting social inclusion, citizen participation and sustainability of cities. “Culture and creative solutions create innovation. They contribute to the development of the cultural identity of cities. It is important to support innovative and digital approaches that bring social and economic benefits for the cities,” she said.

As part of the event, a bilateral meeting was held today with representatives of the UN-Habitat, with which the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is implementing a joint project to support social housing as a pillar of housing policy. It was decided in the middle of this year to hold six thematic meetings in our country, which will contribute to a clearer identification of the needs for affordable housing for excluded social groups.

Deputy Minister Denitsa Nikolova met with the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Abu Dhabi, Bogdan Kolarov, as well as with the Minister of National Housing Policy and Social Services of Zimbabwe, Mr. Daniel Garwe. He expressed interest in the exchange of experience and good practices in the field of implementation of measures in the sector.