UCLG : All SDGs are Local: Towards an Action Agenda in Habitat III

UCLG : All SDGs are Local: Towards an Action Agenda in Habitat III

"We, the local and regional leaders gathered in United Cities and Local Governments and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, have been here this week to make everybody aware that the Sustainable Development Goals – all of them – are at the core of our work." Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG

Local and regional governments from all over the world were at UN Headquarters in New York in September to witness the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Global Taskforce organized a number of events to celebrate the occasion and to assess the role of cities and local leaders in the 2030 Agenda going forward.

The Global Taskforce made a joint declaration to mark the summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, entitled “All SDGs are Local: Towards an Action Agenda in Habitat III”.

In the declaration, local and regional leaders commit to playing their part in the success of the 2030 Agenda and call for a new global governance system within a revitalized UN system. The declaration proposes greater participation in the UN for all stakeholders, and demands recognition of the unique democratic legitimacy of local governments in particular. The declaration also celebrates the inclusion of SDG 11 on sustainable cities. The inclusion of Goal 11 was largely thanks to the advocacy work of the Global Taskforce and the broader urban community over the past year.

Furthermore, the text highlights out the need for the ‘localization’ of all of the 17 SDGs. Localization refers to the decentralization of powers and resources to ensure their implementation and monitoring. Localization will be essential if local governments are to live up to their potential in making the goals a reality on the ground. As the Mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, said in New York, “technical solutions are the easy part of sustainable development policy-making. It is political decision-making and facing established interests that are preventing change that is more difficult. Communities need to drive the change.”

As Mayor of Kitchener, and UCLG Deputy Treasurer, Berry Vrbanovic, said, “To see how far we have come together deserves a celebration. However, work still needs to be done, and the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments needs to be our focus as we work towards Habitat III.”                                              

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