“We live at a time of unprecedented, rapid, irreversible urbanisation. The cities growing fastest are those of the developing world. And the fastest growing neighbourhoods are the slums. Another and unacceptable feature of the new urban age is that 2007 will also be the year in which the global number of slum dwellers is forecast to reach the 1 billion mark,” she said. She warned that slums are the hub of rising crime and violence, that when it comes to climate change urban poverty is one of the biggest polluters.
“In this global village, someone else’s poverty very soon becomes one’s own problem: of lack of markets for one’s products, illegal immigration, pollution, AIDS, other diseases, insecurity, crime, fanaticism, terrorism. The findings of the UN-HABITAT 2006 State of the World’s Cities Report clearly show that we can no longer ignore the plight of slum dwellers. We do so at the risk of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals for a significant portion of the poor. We do so at the risk of massive social exclusion with all of its attendant consequences for peace and security.”