June 01, 2018     cib    

UCLG is continuously working to amplify the voice of and secure a seat at the global tables for local and regional governments. Below, you will find an overview of the recent work implemented by UCLG on the various international agendas. The news item is not exhaustive, but focuses on some of the more relevant issues for the CIB network. This overview was presented at the UCLG Executive Bureau, which took place last week in Strasbourg.

SDG Agenda

Local and Regional Governments’ Report to the 2018 HLPF
The monitoring and reporting system of the SDGs is currently organized through the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) that are submitted to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) sessions. In line with the ongoing work on localizing the SDGs, the UCLG GOLD team is supporting this effort by contributing to the HLPF’s yearly assessment cycles with reports on implementation from the perspective of local and regional governments. This year’s report, to be published at the 2018 HLPF in July, will be of particular importance as one of the main themes of the HLPF is the progress on SDG 11.

UCLG has developed and distributed a survey to assess the role and involvement of Local and Regional Government Associations in the implementation and reporting processes of the SDGs and other related agendas at national level. CIB members have been asked to support their partners in completing the questionnaire. The UCLG learning team held several events throughout the year, with the aim to provide a hands-on experience on localizing the SDGs.

Habitat Agenda
Following its adoption at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, the New Urban Agenda (NUA) has entered its implementation phase. In February, the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments met to evaluate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). Local and regional leaders stressed the importance of the NUA as an accelerator of the 2030 Agenda, and called to link and integrate the implementation of all global sustainability agendas.

The invaluable role that local and regional governments can play in the effective implementation of the urban agenda and the SDGs, as well as the need to organize a more structural dialogue specific to UCLG’s constituency, have guided UCLG’s contribution to the Expert Group Meeting led by UN-Habitat in Granada in March 2018. The event, which focused on the development of the Quadrennial Report on the Monitoring of the New Urban Agenda, had a strong representation from UN institutions, Regional UN Commissions and agencies as well as the World Bank and a few experts from Member States.

Local and regional government representatives support the integration of references to the mechanisms developed by different local and regional government networks in order to contribute to monitoring and data gathering (e.g. GHG emissions, subnational government finance, decentralization).

Climate Agenda
Cities currently account for over 70% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and are vulnerable hotspots for climate change impacts. The scale of urbanization, however, provides cities with the opportunity to lead initiatives in order to curb and mitigate the effects of climate change by developing and implementing mitigation and adaptation measures which are difficult to pass at national spheres of government.

The Cities IPCC Conference in Edmonton, CA, took place with the aim to establish a global research agenda based on the joint identification of key gaps by the academic, practitioner and policymaking communities. The Joint Statement “The Science We Need For The Cities We Want: Working together to implement the global research and action agenda on cities and climate change” resulting from the conference, describes how urban and scientific organizations plan to work together to support the implementation of the climate agenda.

Local finance
The allocation of resources towards local governments is, so far, insufficient. In order to meet the challenges of sustainable urban development, the legislative frameworks must open the door for an equitable distribution of financial influx. In line with advocating for the financial capabilities of local governments, UCLG is working on an institutional collaboration with UNCDF.