The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, our constituency’s political mechanism to the international arena, formally met during the morning of our last day of the Summit, gathering hundreds of local leaders, civil society partners and national governments.
“Today is the moment to renew our commitments to secure these spaces, and to secure this platform, the World Assembly, as our own but with the participation of all stakeholders to ensure that no one is left behind” (Mpho Parks Tau, former President of UCLG)
“We take pride in our capacity to articulate our voices, and we are ready to go from amplifying the voices into a policymaking space. We are all together as one” (Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Surabaya, representing ICLEI)
Local and regional governments need to focus on implementation, and the Global Taskforce needs to evolve to enhance these efforts” (Reverend Mpho Mourakgomo, Chairperson of CLGF)
The sitting of the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments formally offered an opportunity for the constituencies of the civil society to provide their recommendations to the Global Taskforce, certifying its opportunity to consolidate the voices and actions of and constituency, and to enable the, to consolidate the voice and actions of our constituency, and to enable the urgent transformation that societies and communities around the world are calling for through the principle of solidarity- The gathering was based around three panels, each moderated by a representative from the networks that are part of the Global Taskforce.
The World Assembly formally received the recommendations of the TownHall and Assembly tracks of the World Summit, as well as the outcome documents of the 10 Special Sessions of the Local4Action Track, on Biodiversity, Ecology, Resilience, Culture, Housing, Transparency, Migration, Local Finances, Gender Equality, Mobility.
The first panel, Challenges and priorities: the quest of Local and Regional Governments in the current context, was led by mayors who discussed challenges such as climate change, an averse financing environment, and enhancing dialogue among all spheres of government.
The gathering included recommendations by the Huairou Commission, who provided outcomes of the Town Hall meeting on Gender Equality, such as fostering partnerships among grassroots women and local leaders, disseminate and incubate knowledge regarding gender equality, and affirm the role of the Networks of the Global Taskforce in women-led equality organization.
A representative from the World Blind Union provided the inputs from its constituency on the Town Hall on Sustainable Urban Development, stressing that designing cities that leave no one behind means collectively defining clear objectives and lines, developing the principle of accountability, and having the capacity to work together, under a clear common vision.
Driving policy innovation from the bottom-up
The second panel dealt with the innovations driven by local and regional governments in order to carry out the agendas from the level closest to their citizens. Representatives from the local and nregional governments’ constituency presented their positions and programmes to overcome national frameworks and contribute to the achievement of the global agenda.
The Global Platform on the Right to the City provided the inputs on the Town Hall of the same matter, and called to build coalitions among local governments, and other stakeholders with the aim of “co-producing” cities that mainstream a human rights perspective. The Platform further emphasized that mainstreaming the Right to the City across cities is the way to bring the voices of communities to their institution.
The recommendations of the Town Hall on Addressing Informalities were provided by Cities Alliance, who stated that providing specific references to the urban poor, ensuring access of informal workers to housing and public services, and planning for inclusivity were the only ways to ensure equal access to the city.
Leading the local-global coalition towards the implementation decade
The final panel highlighted how local and regional leaders were acting together with other stakeholders to carry out the goals. The local-global partnership that gave birth to the Seville Commitment needs to enhance multilevel dialogue, listen to its communities, and go hand-in-hand with the civil society, Academia, and the private sector, to fully carry out the global agendas
The outcomes of the Town Hall on Sustainable and Inclusive Cities were provided by the UN Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, citing that sustainability is essential for attaining SDG 11, and necessary for sustainable development.
A Renewed World Assembly to leave no one and no place behind
The Outcome Document of the World Assembly envisions a renewed and stronger World Assembly, calling to accelerate actions to achieve sustainability, and rethinks its partnerships among all stakeholders and civil society. The Outcome document views the World Assembly as a mechanism that goes beyond the amplification of voices of local governments, and towards a space of joint policymaking.
The commitment to co-create policies among different stakeholders is backed by a compendium of policy recommendations brought by the civil society constituencies, including promoting accessible and inclusive policies, promoting and mainstreaming gender equality through both men and women-led initiatives, recognizing everyone’s right to the city, indispensable in providing access to opportunities for all, and to address informalities by treating it not as a problem, but as a solution to a problem.
Sister organizations, networks and associations of local and regional governments called on the World Assembly to continue carrying out full decentralization to empower local and regional governments, securing dialogues among spheres of government, and enhancing capacities and access to finance for local and regional governments to ensure the renewal of the multilateral system.
The Outcome document also lays down the key thematic priorities for the local and regional governments’ constituency, shared by both the Global Taskforce and the World Assembly, focusing on the resilience of the planet by mainstreaming nature in cities and regions, prioritizing nature-based solutions, pursuing safe access to food, water, energy, culture and education, and enabling the creation of people-centred communities.
The Outcome Document acknowledges the “implementation decade” as a “final window of opportunity to bend the curve of the current trajectory”, and argues that the localization of the global agendas is essential to solve the interconnected challenges that the planet is facing. The World Assembly is a platform that will enable the local-global movement for localization to contribute to their achievement and thus the wellbeing of humanity.
- Read the outcome document here