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Salt Lake City welcomes UN conference

Madison ross, of new York, walks up a set of stairs at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Satl Lake city on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 at the site of the 68th UN Civil Society Conference.

SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of visitors from all over the world will be in Salt Lake City this week as the 68th Annual United Nations Civil Society Conference starts on Monday.

The three-day convention is set to take place at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski says it’s the first time the United Nations Civil Society Conference is being held on U.S. soil, but not at UN headquarters in New York.  She says the group of over 4,000 representatives from over 80 countries will discuss sustainability goals.

Vicki Bennett with the Mayor’s Office explained, “It’s the idea that you want to have a society where you’re leaving your society or city better than you found it.”

The mayor says she has encouraged the UN to focus on access to safe and affordable housing, transportation and green and public spaces – all local issues Biskupski says she’s pushed during her time as mayor.

Visit Salt Lake Convention Services Manager Caryn Bradshaw says the state’s multilingual population was one of the selling factors that the city used to bring the conference here.

Bradshaw says they have fewer volunteers than they were hoping for, but they’ll be able to handle the workload.  The goal, she says, is to have volunteers spread all across the city from the airport to the Salt Palace to the workshops and exhibits all over town.

Host committee member Mathew Rojas says the items discussed during this conference will be taken back to the UN and could change how things like affordable house and climate change are addressed all over the world.

The conference will affect road and pedestrian traffic along with possible security checks around the Salt Palace through Thursday.