Local and regional governments speak up for localization of Post-2015 Agenda at third High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

Photo by IISD-ENB 

On the 26th of June, UCLG President, Mayor Kadir Topbaş, represented local and regional authorities of the Local Authorities Major Group and the Global Taskforce at the opening plenary of the third High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at United Nations Headquarters in New-York.

In his speech, Topbaş welcomed the convergence of the sustainability and Post-2015 Agendas and called for the Financing for Development, Climate Change and Habitat III agendas to be combined into a single, universal development agenda. He reiterated that local governments do not work in sectors or silos on the ground and that the world’s mayors are demanding a coherent, holistic vision that covers the economic, social, environmental and cultural pillars of sustainable development.

In terms of implementation, the President of UCLG emphasized the importance of ‘localizing’ the targets and resources of the Post-2015 Agenda in order to successfully identify and address inequalities.

He called for a universal multilateral mechanism closely linked with the ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly to monitor the Agenda that includes seats for civil society and special status to local governments through their international organizations.

We will need the international implementation mechanisms set up to acknowledge local and regional governments as a specific sphere of government and as key actors of development building”, said Topbaş.

For its part, the Local Authorities Major Group (LAMG) made a statement in the HLPF open debate on July 9. The LAMG contribution reiterated the commitment of local and regional governments to actively contribute to the implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda, emphasizing the direct relevance of many of the 17 SDGs to the daily responsibilities of local authorities. The LAMG also called for the HLPF to become a true platform for monitoring that enables the transmission of knowledge between key constituencies, such as local and subnational governments, with decision making structures: “this a new way of going about our global future that will require NEW data, NEW governance, NEW policy making”, said UCLG Deputy Secretary General, Emilia Saiz, on behalf of the LAMG.

The fourth meeting of the HLPF in 2016 will be the first opportunity to start formally reviewing the progress and implementation of the SDGs.

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