The second iteration of the Local and Regional Governments’ Forum, that took place in New York in the Framework of the UN SDG Summit and the UNGA’s High-Level week, showcased the commitments and actions of local and regional governments in the way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Forum ended with the delivery of the Statement of the Local and Regional Governments’ Constituency Gathered Within the Global Taskforce, which highlighted what needs to be done in order to upscale commitments and ensure that no one and no place are left behind.
From our constituency, we are aware that a business-as-usual approach to development will never be enough to achieve our common goals, and we consider the principles outlined in the 2030 Agenda as critical milestones for the renewal of our social contract, and as a building block of the transformations needed.
The basic services that are provided by the local and regional governments that we represent are essential for the achievement of the SDGs and the rest of the global development agendas, and the renewal of the regulatory frameworks and enhanced investment, particularly in sustainable infrastructure, will be necessary to enhance our capacity to deliver. We will need the support and vision of all spheres of government to come together and truly develop a dialogue for
Our constituency understands, as no other, the close links between the sustainable development goals and the climate emergency, which can only be addressed if we change our behavior and our consumption and production patterns. The costs of inaction, as scientists keep reminding us, are much too high. Throughout the Local and Regional Governments' Forum, we emphasized we will need to co-create not only mitigation strategies but also a sustainable model of development.
This is why, in such a context, we will continue to encourage the development of Voluntary Local Reviews, not merely as a reporting tool but as a tool for transformation, that will allow us to connect with the real needs of our communities, and one that can boost the ownership of the universal agendas by our communities. Our global networks are taking on the challenge to ensure this learning and knowledge exchange opportunity.
This second iteration of the Local and Regional Governments’ Forum is, to us, a sign that our message is starting to be heard, and that our role as first respondents to the needs of our communities is being understood, and provides an excellent mechanism of dialogue among different spheres of government and stakeholders.
We have seen enhanced dialogue with national governments reflected in the Seville Commitment, and the Political Declaration of the SDG Summit. We are ready to continue down this path and develop a multilevel coalition around localization, as a powerful contribution to the Implementation Decade.
We need to embolden ambitions and continue seeking new solutions in strong partnerships with all sectors, and this is why we called on the UN, national governments, and all stakeholders, to join us in the locally driven quest for future generations.