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Zatiaľ čo tu v OSN hovoríme o rozvoji miest, na Ukrajine nám pred očami miznú celé mestá, ktoré ruskí agresori zrovnávajú so zemou

Pre rozvoj miest sú kľúčovými faktormi bezpečnosť, predvídavé a spravodlivé plánovanie a primerané financovanie.

Pre Slovensko sú kľúčovými princípmi pri budovaní udržateľného rozvoja miest, obcí a regiónov právny štát a bezpečnosť, predvídavé a spravodlivé plánovanie a primerané financovanie ich rozvoja. S týmito kľúčovými posolstvami vystúpila dnes na sumite Novej urbánnej agendy (New Urban Agenda – NUA) v New Yorku vicepremiérka a ministerka investícií, regionálneho rozvoja a informatizácie Veronika Remišová. Všetky tri tieto ciele je možné podľa nej realizovať len cez úzku spoluprácu na všetkých úrovniach. Vicepremiérka Remišová na podujatí vystúpila s príhovorom ako zástupkyňa rozvinutých štátov Európskej únie a dôrazne vyzvala medzinárodné spoločenstvo na zintenzívnenie tlaku na Ruskú federáciu s cieľom ukončiť agresiu voči Ukrajine.

„Pred šiestimi rokmi sme sa zaviazali, že budeme podporovať dostupné bývanie, spravodlivý rozvoj miest a ľudské podmienky pre všetkých obyvateľov mestských oblastí. No zatiaľ čo tu sedíme, z miliónov ľudí na Ukrajine sa stávajú bezdomovci a ich domy a rezidenčné štvrte sú zrovnané so zemou. Zatiaľ, čo tu v OSN hovoríme o rozvoji miest, na Ukrajine nám pred očami miznú celé mestá aj so svojim kultúrnym bohatstvom,“ povedala v prejave Remišová.

Dodala, že po 2 mesiacoch ruskej okupácie sú Mariupol, Charkov, Cherson a ďalšie krásne ukrajinské mestá s ich veľkolepými pamiatkami v podstate v troskách, pričom tisíce civilistov zavraždili bez možnosti bezpečne utiecť.

Úlohou Novej urbánnej agendy je podľa Remišovej v súčasnosti aj uznanie potreby rozvoja miest, ktorá bude zohľadňovať bezpečnosť a postavenie ukrajinských žien, dievčat a detí, ktoré sú v súčasnosti znásilňované a zabíjané alebo nútené nájsť si nový domov v cudzích krajinách vrátane Slovenska, zatiaľ čo ich manželia, otcovia a synovia bojujú za slobodu na vlastnej pôde.

„Mestá, obce a regióny sú stredobodom našich spoločných cieľov a sú kľúčové pre dosiahnutie všetkých troch pilierov rozvoja – ekonomického, sociálneho a environmentálneho. Preto je pre mňa veľkým potešením oznámiť, že spolu s našimi váženými kolegami z Botswany, Kene a Grenady spúšťame novú iniciatívu pod názvom ‚Skupina priateľov Habitatu OSN, udržateľnej urbanizácie a novej mestskej agendy‘,“ povedala v príhovore vicepremiérka Remišová.

Ako ďalej doplnila, k tejto iniciatíve sa plánuje v najbližšom čase pripojiť viac ako 30 krajín.

„Mojimi domácimi prioritami v urbánnej agende sú silnejšie a kompetentnejšie regióny. Regióny sú hybnou silou štátu a preto potrebujú dostatočné kapacity pre inováciu a inteligentný rozvoj vrátane ekologického, udržateľného rastu s veľkým dôrazom na sociálne začlenenie najzraniteľnejších skupín,“ dodala Remišová.

Kvalita života ľudí, ktorí zdieľajú spoločný priestor, podľa Remišovej závisí od jasne definovaných a vynútiteľných pravidiel. Podstatou vlády zákona je rešpektovanie suverenity a nezávislosti iných krajín a rešpektovanie vôle občanov slobodne si zvoliť cestu, ktorou sa má ich krajina uberať.

Remišová zároveň vyzvala všetkých aktérov, aby sa plne postavili za záväzky vyplývajúce z princípov a cieľov Novej urbánnej agendy nielen slovami, ale aj konkrétnymi činmi. Realizácia reforiem je podľa nej dlhý a vyčerpávajúci proces, ktorý často presahuje aj obdobie verejného pôsobenia samotných iniciátorov reforiem. Zo skúsenosti Slovenska aj Európskej únie je však zrejmé, že toto je jediná cesta k naplneniu spoločnej vízie pre lepšiu a udržateľnú budúcnosť miest a regiónov pre všetkých.

Nová urbánna agenda (New Urban Agenda) je dokument schválený v roku 2016 v ekvádorskom Quite na konferencii OSN Habitat-III. Impulzom pre túto iniciatívu bola snaha premeniť proces rýchlej urbanizácie na pracovné príležitosti, rast a zlepšovanie kvality života pre všetkých. Vízia prijatá na konferencii OSN pred šiestimi rokmi ponúka riešenia pre udržateľný rozvoj miest a obcí, s osobitým dôrazom na rovnosť, inklúziu, klimatické zmeny, inovácie, hospodárstvo, dopravu, čistotu, infraštruktúru či zapájanie lokálnych aktérov do národných a globálnych politík. Partneri programu OSN Habitat vrátane EÚ a jej členských štátov sa zaviazali k napĺňaniu vízie lepšej a udržateľnej budúcnosti v oblasti mestského rozvoja. Súčasťou tejto vízie je aj cestovná mapa, ktorá pomáha mestám a regiónom docieliť sociálne inkluzívnejší, ekologickejší, bezpečnejší a prosperujúcejší mestský rozvoj. Cieľom štvrtkového podujatia o implementácii Novej urbánnej agendy bolo zhodnotiť pokrok a pretrvávajúce výzvy v tejto oblasti. Súčasťou konferencie bola aj séria sprievodných podujatí a rozhovorov najmä v súvislosti s aktuálnymi výzvami, ktorým dnes Európa a svet čelí.


Príhovor – Podujatie VZ OSN na vysokej úrovni k zhodnoteniu implementácie „Novej urbánnej agendy“

Mr. President, Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,

It is a great honor for me to speak here today on this important occasion.

In 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, we have committed ourselves to implementing the vision for a better and more sustainable future, by adopting the New Urban Agenda as a roadmap for urban development for the upcoming 20 years. Now, it is time for some reflection on those commitments, and the time could not have been more appropriate.

By endorsing the New Urban Agenda six years ago, we have committed ourselves to promoting adequate housing and people-centered urban and rural development and yet, as we sit here, millions of people in Ukraine, Slovakia’s close neighbor are becoming homeless or displaced, as their cities and residential areas, the very institutions we came here to declare support to, are being ruthlessly wiped off the Earth in front of our eyes by Russian aggressors and occupiers. After 2 months of Russian occupation, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson and other beautiful Ukrainian cities with their spectacular landmarks are essentially in ruins, with thousands of civilians murdered without a chance to safely escape or even feed themselves.

Within the remits of the New Urban Agenda, we recognized the need for age – and gender-responsive development and yet as we speak, Ukrainian women and children are being raped, killed, or forced to find new homes in foreign countries, including Slovakia, while their husbands, fathers and sons are fighting for their freedom on their own land. This has to be stopped and I urge the international community to further stand behind Ukraine’s aim for freedom and peace.

Furthermore, we pledged that no one will be left behind to share the opportunities and benefits of urbanization and yet, after two years of struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the scissors of the income inequality are now wider than they were in 2019.

At times like these, it is difficult, yet all the more important to speak about the good that has been achieved.

The Secretary-General report on the “Progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda” we now have in our hands shows us beautiful examples that positive change is not only possible, but can even thrive in the face of a world crisis. For example, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia managed to invest through public and non-government initiatives in programs to support at-risk homeless populations. Our government is putting great efforts to end homelessness in Slovakia, especially in times like these during a serious pandemic situation.

Cities and regions all around the world are proving that with determination, sufficient capacities and well-adjusted priorities, openness to innovation and inclusive cooperation they are capable of improving the quality of life for millions of their citizens who may have found themselves on the margins of human and social advancement due to no fault of their own. Faced with unprecedented crises, they have manifested resilience, flexibility, ingenuity and creativity, for which they deserve our recognition and continued support. As the Deputy prime ministers of the Slovak Republic, and as the Minister of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization, speaking here today also on behalf of the European Union, I can tell you we are aiming to be at the forefront of this support.

Cities are at the heart of our common goals and they are key for the achievement of all three pillars of development – economic, social and environmental. This is why it is my great pleasure to announce that together with our distinguished colleagues from Botswana, Kenya and Grenada, we are launching today a new “Group of Friends of UN-Habitat, Sustainable Urbanization and the New Urban Agenda”. More than 30 countries have already informally expressed their readiness to join this forming group and we will be happy to welcome others as well. We will work together through this platform to promote the role of UN-Habitat, the New Urban Agenda and of cities in general, in our common endeavor to create the future we want.

The core of the significance of the New Urban Agenda lies on four foundations, four fundamental principles that all of us had agreed to observe.

First, the rule of law and security. The quality of our lives as citizens, as neighbors sharing a part of our common space, is dependent on clear and enforceable rules and regulations, and that begins with respect for the sovereignty of independent countries and the will of their citizens to choose their destiny. Support for the rule of law and fight against corruption has always been my utmost political priority in Slovakia. Without these cornerstones, nations and cities cannot develop and prosper.

Second, fair and foreseeable strategic planning. The multi-annual financial framework and long-term planning of the European Union posits that every member clearly defines their strong and ambitious development priorities, brought forward by a broad and inclusive public debate. The cross-cutting theme and the absolute priority for the upcoming decade will be green, sustainable and smart transition. As we can see more clearly than ever before, our reliance on fossil and non-renewable energy sources is not only causing irreversible damage to the environment, but makes us, and our national security, dependent on countries controlled by autocratic leaders who, instead of investing into the quality of life of their citizens, use their profits to cause more destruction.

Third, adequate financing. The European Union is set to streamline billions of Euro towards green, sustainable, fair and inclusive development for regions and cities and bridge the gap through cohesion policy between the least and the most developed regions in Europe. As much as 20% of the whole of Slovakia’s share will now be managed directly by the cities and regions via multi-stakeholder, multi-level governing structures, where national, regional and local governments will meet to allow for the creation and implementation of localized, integrated territorial investments. My government has decided to empower cities and regions and provide them with extended decision making powers, because we trust their judgement and we trust their ability to choose their own path for development.

Last, but not least, the New Urban Agenda requires strong national urban policies. As EU Ministers responsible for the urban matters, our determination was materialized in the New Leipzig Charter, a unique document transposing the vision of the New Urban Agenda into regional context, and recognizing the transformative power of European cities.

The last couple of years have been marked by crises and challenges for urban areas around the world, burdening public resources with unplanned expenses – in addition to the economic crisis, migration crisis, crisis of public health, climate, energy supply or military conflicts, cities, even in the more developed world, are now facing the crisis of affordable housing. In 1948, we have declared the right to adequate housing a universal human right and today, with the soaring costs of living, energies and raw materials, coupled by growing demand to live in the cities and highest-ever number of migrants worldwide, we are still not able to guarantee this right to everyone.

We can hardly expect that the situation will improve by itself. On the contrary, every day of our hesitant stalling pushes us further away from the solution.

Experts and scientists have been raising their voices for years now, about the looming dangers of water supply shortages, food insecurity, rising ocean levels or declining effectiveness of antibiotics, just as they warned us about our unpreparedness for a global pandemic or the climate change, the effects of which we can now see and feel all around us, especially in urbanized areas.

Therefore, I call upon all of you, to fully commit to fulfilling the principles and goals of the New Urban Agenda, not just by words, but by actions. The reform process is long, exhausting, and many times transcends the public life of its initiators. But in Slovakia, and in the EU, we know that it’s the only way towards our shared vision of livable, sustainable and affordable future of cities.

And finally, Slovakia as a small state is facing the same significant urban challenges as its larger partners. We also need to invest countless efforts to face these challenges, and we are ready to actively share our lessons learned from these processes, because as once Edmund Burke said “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little”.

Foto:

Príhovor Veroniky Remišovej v OSN
Príhovor Veroniky Remišovej v OSN.
Veronika Remišová hovorí v OSN
Veronika Remišová hovorí v OSN.
Veronika Remišová v OSN
Veronika Remišová v OSN.

Autor: MIRRI SR.

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