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UN Secretary General highlights the important role of cities in ensuring a resilient recovery

20 April 2021
In a meeting with a Mayors' delegation held on 16 April 2021 facilitated by C40, UN Secretary General António Guterres acknowledged the positive and growing force of mayors and cities on the global stage. 
 
Regarding health and vaccine issues in the context of the pandemic, UN Secretary General emphasized the need for an equitable distribution of vaccines in the world and in cities as a prerequisite for a sustainable economic recovery, and for better days ahead. He called to make vaccines a global public good.
 
On the issue of the climate crisis, he reiterated that the way we design the cities will be decisive in getting on track to achieve the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.  
 
He called local governments to take urgent action on three fronts:
 
First, to work with national governments to make sure they engage and present ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, well before COP26 in November.
 
"National governments need to hear from you that climate action coupled with policies for a just transition brings decent work and higher living standards and is supported by your residents.António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
 
Second, he invited local governments to commit to net-zero by 2050, make ambitious plans for the next decade, and bring fellow mayors and local leaders to the conversation and action.

Third, he called on local and regional governments to use the recovery from the pandemic to accelerate investment and implementation in clean, green infrastructure and transport systems.   

The UN Secretary General also confirmed he will personally advocate for local governments access to financing mechanisms, to address the fiscal gaps you face and provide funding for investments that could save millions of lives and protect trillions of dollars in economic assets.  

Finally, and following-up on the conversation on UN75, he pleaded for a United Nations based on an inclusive, networked multilateralism that links national governments, civil society, businesses and cities with global and regional organizations, trading blocs and financial institutions.

He recognised the importance of diversity, including women’s equal leadership, which brings new approaches and greater effectiveness, citing the importance of the growing female leadership.

He ended making links with the network of Resident Coordinators and Country Teams that can support local and regional governments' policies and priorities, providing with expertise of our specialist agencies, and connecting us with other global players. 

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