Local and regional governments meet in Nairobi to prepare their contributions to Habitat III

Habitat II saw the recognition of local governments as one of the main partners of UN Habitat in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. Twenty years on, local and regional governments are hoping to build on the success of this partnership by seeking special status in the governance structure of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. Only by fully involving local and regional governments will it be possible to ensure the implementation of global goals and targets on the ground.

Local and Regional Governments (LRG) will be actively contributing to the global agenda discussions through the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, a consultation mechanism that gathers all mayor networks.

The Local and Regional Governments Days on 12-15 April, part of the side events of PrepCom2 in Nairobi, will be a unique opportunity to take stock of the achievements and limitations of the strategic partnership between UN-Habitat and subnational governments, and to discuss how to improve it for Habitat III.

Policy priorities already identified for Habitat III include the need for a territorial approach that strengthens and harnesses urban-rural linkages for sustainable development and improved multi-level governance that ensures that responsibilities and resources are clearly and appropriately distributed. The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments involving all mayor networks working internationally,  has also been calling for a single, universal global development agenda that acknowledges the role of sub-national governments as essential partners in sustainable development, and equips them with the necessary powers and resources to carry out this role effectively.

The LRG days will kick off on 12 April with the Local and Regional Governments Preparatory Meeting towards the II Assembly of Local and Regional Governments 2016. All are welcome to attend the afternoon dialogue with partners (14:00-18:00), which will focus on the issues of implementation, financing and strategic partnerships for local governments for Habitat III.

A highlight of the LRG days will be the Policy Dialogue with Local and Regional Governments on 13 April 2015 (10:00-13:30). This event, organized by the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, will explore the priorities of the international local government networks that make up the Global Taskforce and of their civil society counterparts. It will also seek to challenge some of the myths that exist concerning the ability of local and regional governments to play a leading role in the definition and implementation of international agendas. The session will be opened by Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos, and Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG, Kadir Topbaş.

14 April will see a side event from 13:30 – 14:30 organized by Cities Alliance on the role of partnerships in the implementation of the new urban agenda. The session will explore how the joint action of national governments, local governments and civil society organizations can make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Finally, a side event on innovating in financing and mobilizing resources on 15 April (13:30-14:30) will address the issue of financing sustainable urban development at local level.

UCLG hopes that the Local and Regional Government Days will allow local and regional leaders and networks to define their key messages, identify goals shared with other stakeholders, and finalize their advocacy strategy for Habitat III and beyond.

Source: By UCLG World Secretariat for www.worldurbancampaign.org