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Global Human Settlements Foundation (GFSF) Launches, Proposing a New “Nobel Prize” for Sustainable Urbanism

By: ATN News

United Nations: The inauguration of the Global Human Settlements Foundation (GHSF) took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York, drawing a gathering of distinguished figures from around the globe. Among those in attendance were Ambassadors to the United Nations, UN officials, representatives from the NYC Mayor’s office, the Rockefeller group, the family office of George W. Bush, and other prominent individuals from various sectors of society.

The launch ceremony, marked by speeches and congratulatory messages, heralded the establishment of this pioneering public charity foundation, which is backed by the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS). The foundation vows to drive innovation and leadership in sustainable urban development while also tackling the challenges posed by climate change.

In a much-anticipated moment, Mr. Fnu Oudom, the Co-Chairman of GHSF and the Honorary Chairman of GFHS, took the podium to deliver a welcome address. Expressing gratitude for the widespread support and engagement received, he underscored the profound significance of establishing the foundation. Mr. Oudom has played a pivotal role in kickstarting the foundation's operations by providing crucial start-up funds and facilitating the establishment of its headquarters on Wall Street in New York—a promising beginning for this charitable endeavor.

Mr. Lyu Haifeng, Co-Chairman of GHSF and Co-founder and Secretary-General of GFHS, seized the audience's attention with an insightful discourse. He emphasized the pivotal role of innovation and leadership in confronting the multifaceted challenges posed by rapid urbanization, including climate change, poverty, pollution, biodiversity loss, and violence.

Mr. Haifeng outlined the foundation's mission to advance global sustainable development by amplifying the initiatives of GFHS, particularly the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA). Taking inspiration from the Nobel Foundation's renowned investment management model, the SCAHSA will undergo a transformation, emerging as a new “Nobel Prize” for achievements in sustainable development.

GFHS, an organization granted Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC by the UN in 2015

, is committed to constructing sustainable cities and human settlements worldwide. Over the past 18 years, in collaboration with UN agencies and prominent international organizations, GFHS has convened annual forums at the UN headquarters and across five continents, yielding a plethora of outcomes and publications. The esteemed SCAHSA, organized by GFHS since 2005, has evolved into one of the foremost global recognitions in the realm of sustainable development.

The launch ceremony also included a donation drive for the foundation. With a target of raising $10 million within its first year of establishment and gradually scaling up to $50 million over the next three years, the initiative aims to honor trailblazers in the realm of sustainability while catalyzing a global movement towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering a more habitable, just, and sustainable urban future.


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