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The World Assembly of Local and Regional governments will meet in Kuala Lumpur during the World Urban Forum

18 January 2018

The World Assembly of Local and Regional governments will meet in Kuala Lumpur during the World Urban Forum

The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments will meet on 8th February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur in order to discuss progress and follow-up on the implementation of the global goals and the New Urban Agenda from the perspective of proximity. Around 150 local and regional leaders, representing different global networks of local and regional governments, will gather at this fifth session of the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments.

The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, which is convened and facilitated by the Global Taskforce, acts as the political voice of local and regional governments in the follow-up and review of the New Urban Agenda.

Local and regional governments building the Habitat III legacy

The Global Taskforce is consolidating the World Assembly as the follow-up mechanism, providing a dialogue platform between national governments and local and regional governments and a privileged interlocutor for the United Nations and other international partners.

Local government networks, organized in the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments were active part of the negotiation processes of the New Urban Agenda. The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments was the mechanism through which the local and regional government constituency brought its political voice to the Habitat III processes, providing inputs from local and regional leaders on the New Urban Agenda.

In a landmark achievement, the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments is acknowledged in the New Urban Agenda. This recognition sets the ground for a more structured consultation in other global agendas, but more importantly, solidifies the perception of Mayors and Governors as trusted contributors to the generation of international policy, when this policy has local repercussions and needs the contribution of all actors if wants to be achieved locally.

Local governments have a major role to play in the follow up and monitoring of the New Urban Agenda, particularly in engaging with national governments and developing “implementable follow-up and review mechanisms at the local level, including through relevant associations and appropriate platforms”. These mechanisms are yet to be discussed extensively and agreed upon and the World Assembly session can address this and make some proposals.

Considering the achievements and legacy of Habitat III for local governments, the World Assembly will need to explore concrete ways of follow-up of agreements made in Quito such as for example the Right to the city, multilevel governance, urban planning and financing.

This opportunity can also harness local experience and commitment to proof national governments, donors, partners, and citizens their capacity to deliver, as well as to raise attention about the concrete challenges they face when managing the urban issue.

Linkages to the New Urban Agenda, Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals

A strong New Urban Agenda, with empowered local and regional governments, facilitates the implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local and global levels. The local and regional governments constituency is developing a localization strategy and is already contributing to the SDGs implementation and reporting processes by providing yearly inputs to the High Level Political Forum. It is currently preparing its contribution for the SDG 11 reporting process in 2018.

The Localization approach defined in paragraph 9 of the New Urban Agenda, can bridge the global agendas implementation and provide a framework for local development policy and bottom up action.

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