European Development Days: UCLG upholds the importance of local action to achieve the 2030 Agenda

European Development Days

On 15 and 16 June, Brussels hosted a number of international cooperation and development actors at the 2016 (EDD) European Development Days. UCLG was present at this forum alongside development professionals and experts from around the world, and had a stand dedicated to promoting the importance of local action in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, on the road to the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bogotá and the future Habitat III Urban Agenda in Quito.

With the title "Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future", EDD focused on examining the challenges of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015. At the opening, the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, called for a change of focus on development strategies in line with the Agenda on Sustainable Development to ensure that “no one is left behind”.

Local and regional governments were represented by much of the UCLG network: UCLG-MEWAUCLG-AfricaPlatformaCEMR, la Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias (Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces) - FEMP, UCLG Latinoamerican Section- FLACMA, Cities Alliance, the Association française du Conseil des Communes et Régions d'Europe (AFCCRE), and other local representatives that had moved to Brussels to emphasise the fact that the implementation of the development agenda begins at a local level, as do the links between this agenda and other important international agendas such as the future urban agenda.

The programme also included sessions on localising the Sustainable Development Goals, new cooperation models for cities in the era of the SDGs, as well as a session on localisation focused on the “toolkit” UCLG is developing with UNDP Art to implement the SDGs at a local level. Migration and refugees, disaster risk reduction, the development of inclusive and resilient cities, climate change and the sharing of learning and successful development experiences were some of the other topics in the spotlight at EDD.

UCLG’S presence at EDD forms part of the Strategic Partnership signed between the main local and regional government networks and the European Union. With this strategic partnership, the network of local governments undertakes to act with common values and objectives and fight against poverty and inequality, promoting local democracy and sustainable development.

Next stop: Summit for Local and Regional Leaders in Bogotá

The challenges of the 2030 Agenda and its implementation will be re-examined at the largest gathering of local and regional leaders, to be held in Bogotá between 12 and 15 October 2016.

Local and regional governments have called for the localisation of two of the ambitious agendas for development to be adopted in just over one year: Agenda 2030 and Habitat III. Subnational governments will play a vital role in the implementation of both agendas in the field.

The Bogotá Summit: “Local Voices for a Better World” will take place at a decisive moment for the world and its territories. Through plenary sessions on the Political Agenda, the programme will dedicate one of the most important sessions to linking the 2030 Agenda to the New Urban Agenda: How will the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda be implemented and monitored at a local level? How can we ensure that the localisation process recognises the importance of political leadership as well as technical solutions? These will be some of the questions being discussed during the sessions in Bogotá.

As stated by many of the EDD participantsthe Summit will be a key date for development actors. Do not miss this unique event. For more information, please visit:

If you were unable to attend, you can access all our information online.

To uphold the key role played by subnational governments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UCLG has organised a series of games, presentations, videos and various other formats on an interactive stand dedicated to the role of local governments as catalysts for change and key actors in the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Many of these products are also available online. Through them and the new app on the SDGs for local governments, UCLG aims to emphasise how each one of the SDGs is directly related to the daily activities of local governments.

By accessing each objective in the app and the videos on SDG 8SDG 11 and SDG 16, you will understand why local governments should not be viewed simply as implementers of the agenda. Local and regional governments are in fact important policy-makers and catalysts for change and are the government level best placed to form a link between the global goals and local communities.