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03. Since the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements in Vancouver in 1976 and in Istanbul in 1996, and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, we have seen improvements in the quality of life of millions of urban inhabitants, including slum and informal-settlement dwellers. However, the persistence of multiple forms of poverty, growing inequalities and environmental degradation remain among the major obstacles to sustainable development worldwide, with social and economic exclusion and spatial segregation often an irrefutable reality in cities and human settlements.

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