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Opening Address

Date: Monday, 9 July 2018
Time: 9.30am – 9.45am
Venue: Marina Bay Sands Singapore

The Opening Ceremony was graced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore, His Excellency Tharman Shanmugaratnam. This was a morning of thought-provoking discussions, debates, and networking with over 3,000 government and industry leaders, urban solution experts and practitioners in attendance.

H.E. Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Singapore

Keynote Address

Date: Monday, 9 July 2018
Time: 9.45am - 10.30am

His Excellency Ranil Wickremesinghe
Prime Minister, Sri Lanka

Prof. Tommy Koh
Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Opening Plenary Session

Date: Monday, 9 July 2018
Time: 10:35am

Cities have become the world's dominant demographic and economic clusters, and we are seeing the rise of "megacities". Increased urbanisation, rising demand for resources and climate change will inhibit many cities' potential to be engines of progress and prosperity. How should urban, water, environment and transport management evolve to keep pace with urbanisation? At the Opening Plenary session, high-level speakers from government, international organisations, and industry sectors shared insights on cross-disciplinary policies, management strategies, and solutions.

Prof. Chan Heng Chee
Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Dr. Kristalina Georgieva
Chief Executive Officer, The World Bank Group

Zhuang Guotai
Vice-Minister, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, People's Republic of China

H.E. Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu
Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh

Steven Demetriou
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jacobs

Bernard Charles
Vice-Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Dassault Systémes

H.E. Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
Minister, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates

World Cities Summit Plenary Session

Is Collaboration the Panacea for Liveable and Sustainable Cities of the Future?

Date: Tuesday, 10th July 2018
Time: 1:45pm-3:00pm

The WCS Plenary rounded off discussions over two days. It pulled together the insights and best practices, with a focus on embracing the future through innovation and collaboration. Cities are the sources and centres of innovation. Better collaboration between people-public-private is key to provide an enabling digital environment to support growth without stifling innovation and ensure that people are not left behind amidst the fast pace of globalisation and urbanisation. While challenges from social unrest, environmental deterioration, and economic stagnation are inevitable, city leaders can lead and affect real changes through good urban governance, prudent financing approaches and piloting of innovations.

Peter Ho
Chairman of Urban Redevelopment Authority and Former Head of Civil Service, Singapore

Lucy Turnbull
Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

Bambang Susantono
Vice-President, Knowledge Management, Asian Development Bank 

Peter Bakker
President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Prof. Geoffrey West
Distinguished Professor and Past President, Science Board, Science Steering Committee, Santa Fe Institute

Summary By
Dr. Liu Thai Ker
Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore

Date: Monday, 11 July 2016
Time: 9am - 12.45pm
Venue: Sands Grand Ballroom D-E, Level 5

"Towards a Liveable, Sustainable and Resilient Future”

The In-Conversation and Opening Plenary are the landmark opening sessions to the four global events, World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore and Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition. In-Conversation is the curtain-raiser for the week, with premier global leaders from the government, industry or international organisation engaging in thought provoking conversations. The interactive dialogue will allow the high-level speakers to provide strategic insights into trends and global priorities with respect to urbanisation, water, environment and transport.

The Opening Plenary session 1 and session 2 will feature a larger panel of top officials and executives from the government, the private sector, and international organisations who will discuss cross-disciplinary urban policy and governance issues, placing emphasis on the need for innovative solutions to meet the ever-evolving challenges faced by urban stakeholders, including city officials, business leaders and civil society in ensuring a sustainable future. The panel will discuss complex and pressing problems facing their cities and if and how innovation and inclusive co-creation can meet these challenges and create opportunities for the future.

In Conversation Speakers:

Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

Speakers :
His Excellency Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Singapore

Opening Plenary Session 1: Leadership and Governance

Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark
HE Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection, China
HE Dr. Han Seung-Soo, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman, Nestlé
Mohammed Al Rumaihi, Minister of Municipality & Environment, Qatar

Opening Plenary 2: Partnerships and Collaboration


Charles O Holliday, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
Dr. Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
HE Mrs Laurence Tubiana, Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations, Special Representative for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference
HE Park Won Soon, Mayor, Seoul, South Korea
Isabelle Kocher, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE, France

Date: 2 June 2014
Time: 9.00am – 12.30pm
Venue: Sands Grand Ballroom L, Level 5

Shaping our Cities, Water and Environment for a Liveable and Sustainable Future

Note: The In-Conversation and Opening Plenary are held jointly as the grand opening of the World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.


Urbanisation is accelerating. Two-thirds of the global population would be living in urban areas by 2040. Whilst cities have become engines of growth for emerging countries and have brought general improvements to the quality of life, increased concentration of industrial, transport and agricultural activities are exacting enormous pressures on urban environments and their hinterlands, straining existing infrastructure, housing inventories and the world's natural resources. Changing climate patterns have brought about extreme weather conditions – rising seawater, droughts, heavy precipitation and flooding – that amplify the intense challenges we face over urban, water and sanitation resources.

To date, some 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and over 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. With rising expectations of public service delivery and demand from citizens for fair access to a liveable and sustainable city, urban leadership and governance is critical for sound implementation of sustainable policies to ensure the supply of clean, affordable drinking water and safe sanitation for all and to build urban resilience through climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

How do we create a roadmap towards a more liveable and sustainable future? Speakers will share insights on cross-disciplinary urban policy and governance issues. The key questions to answer include:

•  What are our common challenges in creating sustainable developments?
•  Should there be a limitation on physical developments and resource uses?
•  How can cities create their own sustainable pathways?


Session Chairperson:

Prof Tommy Koh
, Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore

The In-Conversation session will feature a 3-party interactive dialogue, moderated by Prof Tommy Koh. It will feature three speakers from the key stakeholder groups of Government, International Organisation and Industry.

In-Conversation Speakers:

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development, Singapore

Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO, Suez Environment

Opening Plenary Speakers:

Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP

H.E. Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands

H.E. Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, UAE

H.E. Kirsten Brosbøl, Minister of the Environment, Denmark

H.E. Chen Lei, Minister of Water Resources, China

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Cabinet Office (Cities and the Constitution), UK

The Honourable Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Sri Lanka

Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

At the In-Conversation, Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of United Nations Development Programme and former Prime Minister of New Zealand shared her insights in an interactive dialogue, on issues concerning cities, water and the environment.

The session was moderated by Prof. Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore and Chairperson, Water Leaders Summit


•  Prof. Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore



•  Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Program and former Prime Minister of New Zealand