Highlights and images for 13 July 2021


The fourth Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) Forum on the 2030 Agenda met for its second day. The meeting featured two panel discussions on the transformation of work and sustainable production and consumption, and on the role of multilevel governance for strong and inclusive institutions.

Panel 3: The Transformation of Work and Evolving Production and Consumption Models

This panel, moderated by Lotta Tahtinen, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), discussed: the future of work and equitable access to opportunities for all; tools for economic recovery and building resilient cities through green jobs; and empowering small and medium-sized enterprises.

Yousef Shawarbeh, Mayor of Amman, Jordan, reported on his city’s Voluntary Local Review (VLR), which is the first from the Arab region. He discussed strategies to transform Amman into a green city with citizens at the heart of sustainable development.

Philipp Rode, Executive Director, London School of Economics Cities Programme, highlighted the role of city networks and local government associations as aggregates of experience, providing capacity and education building, and identifying best practices for emergency responding governance.

Philipp Rode, Director of the London School of Economics Cities Programme

Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir, Turkey, discussed his city’s VLR, the first in Turkey. He said it focuses on human rights, culture, and digital democracy. He highlighted solutions to social and economic impact from the pandemic, including digital platforms for food donations.

Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir, Turkey

Dato’ Haji Zamani Ahmad Bin Mansor, Mayor of Shah Alam, Malaysia, said resilience is the overarching principle of the city’s VLR, which is based on the “5 Ps” that shape the SDGs: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships.

Heba Moheib, Head of the Regional Planning Sector at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt, explained measures of transforming the manufacturing, ICT, and agriculture sectors by promoting public investment, public-private partnerships, and employment.

Via video message, Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, Japan, drew attention to the city’s long-term strategy, dubbed “Future Tokyo,” released in 2021 to support sustainable development and sustainable living. She further reported on her city’s VLR, “Tokyo Sustainability Action,” prepared for HLPF 2021.

Panel 4: Multilevel Governance, and Strong, Inclusive Institutions Based on Solidarity

This panel, moderated by Shipra Narang Suri, Chief Urban Practices Branch, UN-Habitat, discussed localization, decentralization, and partnerships at different governance levels. Participants provided examples of multilevel and multi-stakeholder partnerships for achieving the 2030 Agenda at local the level.

Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, US, and ICLEI President, stressed the importance of multilevel collaboration for enhancing the role of LRGs in the SDGs. He reported that 80% of all VLRs submitted to the HLPF are from ICLEI members, showing the significance of SDG localization.

María Chivite Navascués, President, Navarra Government, Spain, discussed the “Reactivating Navarra Plan,” a 2020-2023 strategy aimed at supporting the city in its post-pandemic recovery. The plan, she said, focuses on a range of areas, including digitization, modern industries, entrepreneurship, carbon neutrality, and aims to support participatory societies.

Fernando Quiroga, National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies, Argentina, cited mechanisms for multilateralism in his country across ministries and sectors, including social development, health and gender.

Edgar Pieterse, Director, African Centre for Cities, discussed ways in which Cape Town’s middle class mobilized itself into community action networks to donate food, water, and basic hygiene for the poorest during the pandemic. He emphasized the need to ensure such opportunities are institutionalized thorough multilevel governance.

Edgar Pieterse, Director, African Centre for Cities

Abdessamad Sekkal, President of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra Regional Council, Morocco, urged innovative tools and policy actions, including: forward-looking strategic planning processes; methods and criteria for defining action priorities; and enhancement of contributions of digital technology, democratization of access to digital technology, and the reduction of digital divides.

Closing Ceremony

In closing remarks, Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, UN DESA, summarized key messages from the Forum highlighting the role of inclusive institutions at the subnational level, and the need to ensure adequate resources, data and capacity for LRGs to ensure successful localization of the SDGs.

Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, UN DESA

Lucy Slack, acting Secretary-General, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, in conclusion, noted keeping people at the center of sustainable development is at the heart of SDG implementation, and acknowledged multilevel governance and collaboration are keys to sustainable and resilient futures.

Lucy Slack, acting Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum

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