Medellin it is! The Colombian city was on Wednesday named the host of the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum to be held in 2014.
Immediately UN-Habitat Staff member Mr. Andre Dzikus made the announcement the room burst into uproarious cheers as the hitherto tense officials and supporters of the Colombian city backslapped and high-fived one another.
According to Mr. Dzikus, the choice was made after a grueling exercise that pitted the Colombia's second city to other contestants from around the world. "After a rigorous exercise we settled on Medellin," Mr. Dzikus who was the search committee's coordinator said.
Medellin, which Wikipedia says has a population of 2.7 million, is Colombia's second largest city. However, the online encyclopedia adds that 'With its surrounding area, the metropolitan area of Medellin (área metropolitana de Medellín), composed by another nine cities, it is the second largest urban agglomeration in Colombia in terms of population and economy, with more than 3.5 million people.'
In his acceptance speech, the Mayor of Medellin Mr. Anibal Gaviria Correa said the choice of his city was a great honour and promised to deliver a good show when delegates gather there in two years' time. The same sentiments were expressed by Colombia's Housing Minister Mr. German Vergas Lleras.
A Medellin resident Ms. Laura Cuerbo could not hide her joy. "This is a great honour for us. The city authorities had put in a lot of work and we were confident of the bid but still, just to hear the name of our city being announced is overwhelming," she gushed.