WUF: 150 countries gather in Naples for UN event

President Napolitano expected for opening ceremony

09 July, 19:12

(ANSAMed) - NAPLES, JULY 9 - Naples will play host to 5,000 delegates from over 150 countries that will take part in the World Urban Forum (WUF) here September 1-6.

The event is organized by UN Habitat, the Nairobi-based agency that deals with human settlements around the world. So far, 3,378 delegates have confirmed. Of these, 956 from Nigeria, 143 from Kenya, 112 from Uganda and 109 from Ghana.

Italy will send 143 delegates, the US is sending 135, India will send 104 and Iran, 101. ''We're expecting 4 or 5 heads of state,'' organizer Umberto Siola said. ''And we're hoping that President Napolitano will preside at the opening ceremony September 3.'' September 1 will be the opening of the pavilions at the Mostra d'Oltremare, while September 2 will be dedicated to women and youth within the context of urban development. The opening ceremony on September 3 will be followed by a meeting of world mayors, among them the mayor of Jakarta, and closing ceremonies will be on September 6.

While relatively few Arab delegates are coming, there has been an interest from Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and these might also bring interesting business proposals to local entrepreneurs, Siola said. The Campania region and Naples city will also participate, as will Naples province, all of which are organizing events centering on urbanization and the problems of contemporary metropolises. Among these, student debates in local universities, a forum on public versus private roles in urban transformation with the Consortium of Wholesale Retailers (CIS) President Gianni Punzo, and a conference with internationally renowned architects such as Oriol Bohigas and historians such as Kenneth Frampton, organized by the Academy of San Luca. (ANSAMed).

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