At the 2019 HLPF, local and regional governments will call for accelerated action to localize the SDGs

One more year UCLG is glad to articulate the presence of the local and regional governments constituency at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) through the Global Taskforce. Over 100 local and regional representatives, including over 30 Mayors and Regional Presidents will bring the constituency’s voice to the HLPF in New York, highlighting the need for further commitments at all levels to accelerate the localization of the global agendas. The Local and Regional Governments Day (15 July 2019) and the Local 2030 event (16-17 July) will offer the local and regional governments delegation a space to showcase how local and regional governments are leading actors in shaping and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2019 High-Level Political Forum, convened under the auspices of ECOSOC, is the main platform for the review of the 2030 Agenda. Under the theme Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality, this year’s edition will review Sustainable Development Goals 4 (education), 8 (decent jobs and economic growth), 10 (inequalities), 13 (climate action), and 16 (justice, solid institutions and peace), as well as SDG 17 (partnerships and means of implementation to achieve the goals).

A Local and Regional Governments’ Day to set the priorities for the HLPF and SDG Summit

The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, facilitated by UCLG, will bring a delegation of over 100 local and regional representatives from all over the world. On the 15th of July, the Global Taskforce will organize the Local and Regional Governments’ Day. During this day, the Global Taskforce will launch the third Local and regional Government report to the HLPF, “Towards the Localization of the SDGs”. For the third year in a row, UCLG provides a complementary assessment of the VNRs. It shows that, once more, less than half of the voluntary countries (19 out of 47) have consulted local and regional government in preparing the VNR. In the 143 countries assessed by the study, local and regional government are fully participating or have an advisory role on national coordination in 34% of the countries.

With the support and the contributions of the Global Taskforce’s members and partners, the report highlights the increasing role of local and regional governments to unlock inclusive climate action in their territories and promote a rights-based agenda. In addition, the Global Taskforce’s survey designed for this report shows the wide range of local initiatives to enhance awareness raising and the coordination of SDG-related work. The current global challenges calls for multi-level and collaborative governance frameworks and adapted financing mechanisms to scale-up local innovative solutions and adapt national strategies to the specific local conditions. 

In addition, local and regional governments will discuss their priorities for both the HLPF and the upcoming SDG Summit, which will take place in September. The gathering will result in the constituency’s statement to the HLPF, setting local and regional governments’ position regarding the state of SDG implementation.

Further, building up to the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, the Local and Regional Governments’ Day will also hold an open dialogue with the organized constituencies of local and regional governments in order to synergize priorities.

Local 2030: Local action to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The Global Taskforce is partnering with Local 2030 to co-organize the Local2030: Local Action for Global Commitments Special Event on July 16 and 17. Conceived as an event for multi-stakeholder engagement, the Local 2030 Event will address the local dimension of the SDGs under review, and how to address the financing and supporting of the localization of the SDGs at both the country and the local level. The different sessions will allow local and regional governments to showcase how local and regional governments are leading actors in shaping and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A key session of this two-days event will be the lab on Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) – the local reporting on the implementation of the SDGs at city and region level. The lab – co-organized by UN-Habitat, UN-DESA and the Global Taskforce – is expected to provide guidance on the conduction of VLRs by local and regional governments, mirroring the national reviews.

A VNR lab on localization to promote local governments’ involvement in national reporting on SDGs

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels".  These voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the SDGs.

A VNR lab under the name of “Localizing the SDGs and the VNRs: reporting on progress, challenges and opportunities” to take on the 17th July will address the role of local governments in the Voluntary National Reviews, the challenges faced so far in regards to local involvement, and what can be done to accelerate local and regional presence in the VNRs.


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