Statement by Angel Gurría,
UN-Habitat III plenary session: Leave No One Behind: Urban Inclusion and Prosperity
Quito, Ecuador, 17 October 2016
(As prepared for delivery)
Excellencies, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We gather at a critical moment. No less than the future of our economies, our societies and our planet is at stake.
If we are to rise to meet these challenges, then we need to work together to put people at the centre of our economies and ensure that no one is left behind!
This ideal is at the core of the OECD mandate.
Since 2012, our All on Board Initiative on Inclusive Growth has delivered ground-breaking data and tools for policy makers, and helped to elevate Inclusive Growth in the global policy agenda. But it is also increasingly clear that cities and local leaders must be at the heart of our efforts to build more inclusive economies and societies!
Cities are home to more than half of the global population and generate an outsized proportion of wealth. But cities also concentrate inequalities. Our new OECD report, Making Cities Work for All, finds that income inequality is higher in cities than their respective national averages, and especially in larger cities.
Whilst cities may suffer disproportionately from the ruinous effects of inequalities, mayors, local governments and citizens must play a leading role in promoting inclusive growth.
This is why this past March we launched the Inclusive Growth in Cities Initiative, together with the Ford Foundation, building a global network of 50 Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth. Alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York, Champion Mayors made a collective commitment to tackle rising inequalities. Next month, they will reconvene in Paris, hosted by Mayor Anne Hidalgo to transform these shared ambitions into concrete actions for change.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Each and every one of us here today is duty bound to ensure that our call to leave no one behind is not merely an expression of good intent, but a rallying cry that unites us in pursuit of greater and more inclusive growth!
We must act now – and we must act in cities!
Together with UN Habitat and National Delegations here in Quito, the OECD is All on Board to support the realisation of this shared ambition.