Mateusz Morawiecki said it was “a great honour” for him to open the four-day event, Polish state PAP news agency reported.
‘Times of transformation’
The Polish PM stated: “There is no doubt that we are living in times of transformation.”
He added that two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have meant that humans “must redefine what it means to live in big urban centres, and what it means to live in many countries.”
Morawiecki also hailed the historical role of cities in human development.
“At the dawn of our history, cities provided the main impetus for development,” he said.
The PM voiced his conviction that the Katowice event would prove highly fruitful.
“I believe this forum will work out many solutions, ideas, thoughts & innovative projects that will contribute to better life in cities, resulting in sustainable development in other areas in countries worldwide,” he told the audience.
The 11th World Urban Forum
The 11th World Urban Forum runs until Thursday, focusing on topics such as green cities, innovation and urban planning as well as refugee policies, according to officials.
With Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the conference is also expected to discuss the reconstruction of Ukrainian cities after the war, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
WUF11 is co-organised by the UN, Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the city of Katowice, officials told reporters.
The WUF is held every two years. The 2020 conference took place in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Poland's Katowice in 2018 hosted the UN's COP24 climate change conference, which drew around 21,500 participants from almost 200 countries, according to officials.
Monday was day 124 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, wuf.unhabitat.org