Lilongwe City Council (LCC) mayor Desmond Bikoko says all is set for an international mayors’ forum scheduled for May 16-18 at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in the city.
Speaking during a briefing in Lilongwe on Friday, Bikoko said the council lobbied the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at a meeting in Laos last year to have the meeting in Malawi.
He said: “There were only three mayor’s from Africa and it is an honour that we were chosen. This meeting will show the world what Lilongwe has to offer. Yes, we have challenges, but there are positives as well. It is our collective responsibility to make sure that we deal with the problems in our city.”
According to the mayor, the delegates will visit a housing project in Likuni as well as a waste transfer station in Lilongwe.
UN resident coordinator for Malawi Maria Jose Torres Macho cited clean air as one of the positive aspects of Malawi cities.
“Each city has its own challenges. What is needed is to ensure that we build on the positives. For example, Malawi cities have clean air and we should guard that jealously before things get out hand,” she said.
The three-day regional meeting is aimed at providing an international platform for policy dialogue and knowledge sharing through presentations and discussions on key aspects related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG II, sustainable cities and communities at local levels.
It is also expected that the forum will contribute to bringing the voice of the local authorities up to the high level political forum (HLPF) set for July 2018 I in New York where discussions and subsequent recommendations emerging from the Lilongwe mayors’ forum will be presented. n