Mayor Biskupski welcomes United Nations Under-Secretary General Alison Smale and announces theme for 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference

Mayor Jackie Biskupski, along with representatives from Utah Valley University, welcomed Alison Smale, Under Secretary General for Global Communications, United Nations, on her first visit to Salt Lake City since the announcement was made last November that the city was chosen to host the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference.

Secretary Smale made her trip to Salt Lake to tour area facilities, visit with conference organizers and become familiar with the city prior to the United Nations event, scheduled for Aug. 26-28. The conference will be based at the Salt Palace Convention Center, but will be a boon for downtown hotels, restaurants and other attractions.

In addition to welcoming Secretary Smale, Mayor Biskupski unveiled the name and logo for the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities.”

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint for action, advocacy and partnership, and a compass to ensure that no one is left behind, including those who are poor and vulnerable. 

Reflecting Salt Lake City’s leadership and demonstrated commitment on sustainability issues, the upcoming conference will focus on SDG 11, “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030.”

“I can think of no better time, and no better place than Salt Lake City, for the United Nations to re-emphasize and reintroduce its vision, mission, and values to the American people,” said Mayor Biskupski. “With everything Salt Lake City is doing to build a sustainable and resilient City, from investing in more equitable transit and housing, to becoming a clean energy city, to empowering diverse voices—Salt Lake City is the perfect place to have this conversation.”

“It is an extraordinary milestone for Utah to be chosen to host the first U.N. Civil Society Conference held outside of New York,” said Baldomero Lago, chief international officer for Utah Valley University and an official representative of the United Nations. “We are particularly grateful that the Under Secretary General responded to the invitation of Salt Lake City and UVU to bring this conference to Utah while involving a broad youth committee from all the universities and community colleges in the State to engage in planning parts of this conference. As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Utah is an ideal location for a global discussion on building sustainable communities that will provide a safe and healthy environment for generations to come.” 

Registration is now open for the conference. For additional information, or to register, visit: