At the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Cities Alliance has launched a new report that aims to help local and regional governments understand how they can participate in the follow-up and review process for global urban sustainability and climate agendas.
Over the past three years, the global community has adopted several landmark decisions that are relevant to urban actors. The New Urban Agenda has become the global roadmap for sustainable urban development, while the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement also assign cities a central role in implementing the sustainable development goals and the ambitious climate targets towards a global low carbon economy. However, even though it is a global agenda for cities, they are rarely involved in the process of designing and implementing as well as systematically reviewing the implementation process.
The Cities Alliance Joint Work Programme on Cities in the Global Agenda commissioned the report “Realising synergies in follow-up and review – The role of local and regional governments and their partners in the follow-up and review of global sustainability agendas” to address three critical questions: How can the follow-up and review of these international agendas be supported? How can local and regional governments participate? How can their interests be better reflected in these processes?
The report illustrates existing follow-up and review processes and provides recommendations on their further improvement and potential synergies. Better reflection of urban sustainability issues and substantial participation of local and regional governments and stakeholders in these processes are essential for effective implementation of these agreements. The authors thus describe how local implementation capacities have to be strengthened, and stress the importance if policy learning beyond data collection, reporting and review.
The United Nation’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018 will include the first thematic review of SDG 11 on cities and human settlements. This offers a unique opportunity to advance the understanding and respective policy processes at global and national level on the link between urban development, the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the sustainable development goals. In the preparatory process to the thematic review we need to mobilise and involve local and regional governments, local actors and global urban actors. Their input is going to be shared during the HLPF at the Local and Regional Governments Forum on July 16. This forum can help raise awareness on the efforts of local and regional governments to localise the SDGs. Its impact should be increased by ensuring that it is attended not only by representatives of local and regional governments, but also national governments, UN institutions, civil society, and business.