Meeting at the intersection of interconnected crises—the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change; wars, including in Ukraine—many delegates raised the resulting challenges faced by local and regional governments while also pointing to innovative solutions they carry, including how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.
This special high-level event took place alongside the 2022 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and aimed to stress the importance of localizing action toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The theme of the Fifth Local and Regional Governments (LRG) Forum on the 2030 Agenda was: “Fostering the achievement of the SDGs from the ground up towards the 2023 SDG Summit.” The meeting took place in two parts. The first session included discussions of voluntary local reviews (VLRs) and voluntary subnational reviews (VSRs) as key policy tools for achieving the SDGs, as well as on multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder collaboration. The second session included presentations on local public services and policies fostering the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and on localization at the forefront in the context of the 2023 SDG Summit.
During this Fifth LRG Forum the particular focus was on the SDGs being reviewed in 2022, namely: SDG 4 (quality education); SDG 5 (gender equality); SDG 14 (life below water); SDG 15 (life on land); and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals). Organized by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the event highlighted actions taken by their local and regional governments constituency to accelerate SDG implementation by emphasizing the link between local public service provision and education as a key lever to addressing inequalities, the key role women play in local leadership, and the importance of local and regional governments in the protection of nature and biodiversity. It highlighted how, as the closest level of government to the people, local and regional governments have been playing a key role in fostering peace and building bridges between communities and guaranteeing that their perspectives are reflected within policy making at all levels.
The fifth edition of the Local and Regional Governments Forum showcased the relationship between the SDGs in review and the innovative actions taken by local and regional governments for their implementation and highlight recommendations.