A Pact for the Future: Renewing the Social Contract for the Great Reset
The UCLG session themed, “A Pact for the Future: Renewing the Social Contract for the Great Reset,” took place in the morning. It brought together UCLG Ubuntu Advisors (“ubuntu” is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity”) and mayors from different regions.
The UCLG Ubuntu Advisors shared thoughts on the future of the current transformation at the local level.
Aromar Revi, Founding Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), called on cities to: clarify their position on whether reset is possible; build on their strengths; mobilize their constituencies; and take over the delivery of services.
María Fernanda Espinosa, President, 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, said local and regional governments can translate abstract terms into policy development and then action.
Jorge Pérez Jaramillo, Advisor of Urban Planning, Government of Antioquia, Colombia, recommended: integrated planning; bold and participatory actions; and strengthening the role of municipal authorities. Other Ubuntu Advisors spoke about addressing gender issues and bringing in human rights and multilateralism.
A number of mayors reflected on: the importance of taking into account circular culture, implementation at the local level “driving the agenda,” using the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a roadmap for building budgets and climate strategies; the need to address inequalities; and addressing breaking points in cities. Noraini Roslan, Mayor of Subang Jaya, Malaysia, explained that cities learned many lessons during the pandemic, including that they can play an essential role in provision of services, subject to the necessary funding.
UCLG World Forum of Regions: High-level Political Dialogues
The UCLG World Forum of Regions took place in the afternoon under the theme, “Smart Territories in the Urban Era.” Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, Turkey, and UCLG Co-President, welcomed participants, noting the complementarity of cities’ and territories’ needs and objectives.
Pablo Jurado, President of the Region of Imbabura, Ecuador, and President of the World Forum of Regions, pointed to the seven-year international process that led to the first formal meeting of this forum aimed at taking into account the perspectives of territories.
In the first dialogue session, presenters discussed building territories as integrated ecosystems. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President, Regional Council of Nouakchott, Mauritania, observed that regional and local governments have the same goals, citizens, and challenges.
Aníbal Gaviria, Governor of Antioquia, Colombia, noted urban and non-urban areas need balanced, harmonious relationships.
Kim Borisov, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Russian Federation, explained how his region, half of which is above the Arctic circle, has been impacted by climate change, including rapid decline in sea ice, permafrost thaw, and increased forest fires, requiring effective protection systems and funding.
Marcela Villarreal, Director, Division of Partnerships and UN Collaboration, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), described the impacts of broken food systems, resulting in hunger and food waste, and called for food system transformation, including by interlinking cities and the territories that support them. Other participants raised points on uniting efforts to strengthen and amplify the collective voice by listening to all voices.
The second dialogue session focused on accelerating the urban agendas from regional governments. Points made included: digitalization can be used to advance local and regional agendas; regions can vary enormously from each other even in one country; and cities and regions are not just implementers but can be far more ambitious than the national level.
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