UNCDF (Christel Alvergne) has contributed to the II World Forum of Local Economic Development by two presentations. One on the UNCDF contribution to post conflict recovery and the second on local development financing. Christel emphasized that the majority of conflict on LDCs emerged from local issues (access to land, natural resources) and then spread. UNCDF has developed a long term strategy, from recovery to develop path and support some of these countries since their initial phase of peace reconstruction (Burundi, Mozambique, Timor, Guinea Bissau for instance). On the role of UNCDF in financing local development, Christel has presented the major role of the agency in local economic development, the current constrains faced and the change recently undertaken to better finance local development.
The II World Forum of Local Economic Development was inaugurated by the Minister Chief of Staff of Brazil (Minister of Casa Civil) Ms. Gleisi Hoffmann, and the Directors and Presidents of the organizing partners, including the UNDP Associate Administrator, Ms. Rebeca Grynspan. Organized in three plenary sessions and forty-four panels, the Forum enabled a truly effective sharing of innovative policies and practices in different thematic areas within the field of LED. The Forum gathered 4.300 delegates of local, regional and national authorities, including representatives of various ministries, as well as social and economic actors of the territories, such as LEDAs, universities, civil society organizations and private sector, representing 67 countries from 4 continents. Such a wide and active participation made the event a real success, fostering the discussion on LED strategies and policies and their articulation and implementation at national and subnational level, and providing an excellent opportunity to establish partnerships, identify initiatives and facilitate south-south and decentralized cooperation agreements between the participants. The Forum showed that LED is conceived as a strategic and critical tool, necessary to achieve the expected results of development at the local, national and global level.
The former President of the Federal Republic of Brazil, Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, participated in the final plenary session. In his final speech, Mr. Lula stressed that the Forum has accompanied the debate on LED with concrete tools, products of territorial experiences of various countries; and described the Forum’s process as an added and unique value for the promotion of employment policies, and an innovative way of delivering results. Mr. Lula also mentioned the importance of enhancing the dialogue between the territories to face global challenges and give the opportunity to the citizens, from the North and the South of the world, to express their common interest on sustainable human development.
As a result of the Forum’s work, the Final Declaration entitled “Dialogue between territories: new insights on Local Economic Development” (here), identified specific thematic areas and challenges. This will lead to an Action Plan to be implemented in 2014 and 2015 by some involved countries and various international organizations, whose results will be presented at the 3rd World Forum. In this regard, the City of Turin announced its candidature to host it in October 2015, also in conjunction with EXPO 2015 to be held in Milan; this proposal was unanimously approved and warmly applauded by the plenary.
A comprehensive report of the event is currently being elaborated and will be shared soon on the Forum website together with the audio files of each session.