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Aliye P. Celik opened and chaired the Fourth Session of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference

While the world, and especially Africa, is rapidly urbanizing, the development gap between rural and urban areas tends to increase. Urbanization has been widely acknowledged for its transformative power, but even though urban and rural areas depend on each other, rural areas often lag behind, and worldwide, 85% of the poor still live in rural areas.

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs)1 and the New Urban Agenda (NUA)2, United Nations Member States agreed to policies supporting integrated urban and territorial planning and development.

They called for new, inclusive approaches and enhanced synergies between urban and rural communities and spaces – an essential component of the vision of Agenda 2030 to “leave no one behind”, as recalled by ALIYE P. CELIK, Chair of the Board of Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU).


“Hello. It's a great pleasure and honor to be part of the Infopoverty World Conference. I have been attending for many years. Thank you, Mr. Saporito, for bringing me to these conferences. This year, the emphasis is on AI and how to use it to ensure human rights and provide welfare for all. At this juncture of history, we can see that the future is urban and economic, social, and environmental conditions in the cities dominate the world. By 2030, 70 percent of the population will live in cities. The cities we are talking about are mostly in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, where a huge percentage of the population lives in informal settlements, which might be breeding grounds for sickness, poverty, unrest, and misery, prone to all sorts of disasters. Cities rely on their surrounding areas, especially for the provision of natural resources and amenities, the production of food and basic products. 
Mutual interdependencies are relevant to the continuum between urban and rural areas described as linkages and flows related to people, goods, public services, or the environment. Information technologies are now upgraded with AI. Human beings have been extremely successful in advancing technology to make our lives easier. But this incredibly powerful change in their thinking had no positive impact on their humanity and empathy. The human brain did not get rid of its tendency to be greedy for power and money, or its violent and destructive urges. Humans should realize, especially after the COVID pandemic, that they are all related to one another, and share this planet with its miracles and disasters. Anything good for one should be good for all. AI should be used for the benefit of all, not only the rich and the powerful, for the urban and rural populations. I don't know how this could be done, but AI should be able to achieve it, and I hope I will get answers now.
I am Aliye Celik, and I am proud to have been a staff member of UN-Habitat, UNDESA, and later United Cities and local governments. Nowadays, I am the chair of the board of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) and the founder. Now, I will give the floor to my co-founder of CSU, Professor Lance Brown. Lance J. Brown, F-A-I-A, is an architect, urban designer, author, and ACSA Distinguished Professor at the School of Architecture, CCNY. He is a fellow of the Institute for Urban Design and a board member of AIA New York City. He was awarded the AIA AXA Topaz Medallion, the highest honor given to an architectural educator in the United States. He was educated at the Cooper Union, and holds two master's degrees from Harvard University. Mr. Brown, the floor is yours.”

The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference is now available! The Plan of Action including a list of projects and proposals that emerged from the discussion will be available soon. STAY TUNED!

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