An account of the UCLG participation in the World Urban Forum

World Urban Forum

As the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum comes to an end, from United Cities and Local Governments, we would like to commend the different parts of the network for their participation and active engagement throughout the duration of the event, as well as to all of the actors and partners who have contributed to the visibility of the networks of Local and Regional Governments.

All of the different sections and regions of UCLG were active participants in the World Urban Forum, and we took great pleasure in the privilege of being the facilitators of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments. We would also like to thank all of the attendants, stakeholders and partners who took part in the seven sessions which we organized, as well as in the more than 20 events which we co-organized.

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Strengthening the role of local and regional governments in the global decision-making process

We endorse the Global Taskforce’s feedback on the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Cities 2030, which acknowledges that the roles of local and regional governments ought to be strengthened in order to ensure the correct implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and we congratulate the partners of the Global Taskforce on their mobilization.

[Read the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Cities 2030]

The Declaration addresses both the persistent challenges faced by cities, such as the unequal access to the city and gender inequalities in economic and leadership spheres, as well as emerging challenges that require immediate responses. Among these the need to address the complexities of migrations and viewing them as an urban challenge, the rise of inequalities in urban environments and the climate change concerns are some of the more pressing.

The local and regional government constituency has demonstrated its commitment to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Global Goals, and we share the vision included in the Declaration of adopting an integrated territorial approach to development to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and land.

We are grateful for the acknowledgement of the role of local and regional authorities in the monitoring and implementing processes of the New Urban Agenda. The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments convened by the Global Taskforce remains committed, as per its role recognised in the Quito declaration, to contribute to this important work. In this regard, the inclusion in the Declaration of monitoring mechanisms which take into account actors at the sub-national level ensures that local and regional governments can be a part of the decision-making process and is an important step forward.

The right to the city and gender equality, key points in the agenda of local governments

We feel that the continued call for developing the right to the city and the strong partnership between slum dwellers and local governments that could be sensed in the forum and were supported by our constituency, civil society groups and NGOs, in particular Slum Dwellers International (SDI), might not have been sufficiently reflected in the declaration. Our commitment, however, remains firm to continue developing those partnerships, including through Cities Alliance.

As the Local and Regional Government constituency we would further like to commend the important efforts made by the constituencies organising the different Assemblies: Women, Youth and Local and Regional Governments. Without them the World Urban Forum would have been less vibrant and the voices heard much less diverse, especially when it comes to gender. A special mention goes to our friends of the Global Assembly of Partners (GAP) that have ensured once again great coordination among the different constituencies and stakeholders.

This is just the beginning of the mobilization from all stakeholders in an implementation process which will prove to be essential in order to accomplish the goals set in the agendas. It remains impossible, however, not to look at the future with a certain degree of optimism if the objectives set in the Declaration are taken into account.

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