"We will become ten billion people sometime in this century and that future will be urban," said Ms. Faremo, from the
Casa de la Cultura, where Habitat III welcomed more than 50,000 attendees at the UN's third-ever conference on urbanization.
At the plenary session, Ms. Faremo spoke to the importance of building sustainable resilient infrastructure, supported by innovative financing mechanisms.
"Future housing should be resilient to earthquakes and natural disasters. Roads should withstand the floods that come with climate change," said Ms. Faremo.
She added: "We must find ways to attract new and additional private capital for sustainable and more equitable development."
Ms. Faremo was the third UN principal to take the stage on 17 October, following an introductory speech by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, followed by Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, the conference organizers.
After the opening plenary, Ms. Faremo moderated a special session on "Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services, including Energy", with panelists that included high-level representatives from Member States, aid agencies and the UN.
UNOPS is also holding a joint networking event today with the University of Oxford and UNEP, entitled "How can Urban Infrastructure be Resilient for Generations to Come."
Read the speech by Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNOPS