Address of Dr Shin Young-soo at the Mayors Meeting

24 October 2012

Present are:
Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane;
Pam Parker, Mayor of Logan;
Sandra McCarthy, Mayor of Kiama;
Tom Tate; Mayor of Gold Coast City

Honourable Mayors:

I am always pleased to be in the beautiful city of Brisbane, never more so than now to attend the Mayors Meeting and the 5th Alliance for Healthy Cities Global Conference.

I would also like to take this opportunity to everyone in Logan City — especially the mayor — for their generosity and gracious hospitality during this important conference.

As you know, political commitment is key to building cities that meet the high expectations of their citizens.

In this sense, the Alliance for Healthy Cities is one of the Region's great success stories.

From its humble start in 2004, the alliance has grown to a membership of 200 cities in less than a decade.

Your political commitment has made the difference.

As key policy-makers, you have taken the responsibilty for decisions that affect urban health and the well-being of millions of people.

As part of this process, you have established structures in your city governments to support steps to make truly healthy cities.

This commitment is why the alliance has become a valued resource in helping planners and policy-makers improve the livability of cities across the Western Pacific Region.

We all know that our Region is expanding rapidly and that cities are powerful engines for economic growth.

That development comes at a cost, creating complex challenges for people, our communities and especially our cities.

The Healthy Cities programme is one of the best ways to make sure that the robust economies of the Western Pacific Region translate into healthier populations.

We still have much work to do.

WHO will continue to work with you to find the best ways to make urban areas healthier, and make governments more attuned to the health needs of urban populations.

In this way, we can help leaders to ensure that sound policies foster successful programmes that improve health opportunities in cities across the Region.

Thank you.