The Sustainable Development Goals represent a transformative agenda. The objective is to transform the economies and societies of developing countries with a view to eliminating poverty by 2030.
As per the findings of the global consultations on localization – co-led by the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, UN Habitat and UNDP, local and regional governments are essential for promoting inclusive sustainable development within their territories. By creating broad-based ownership, commitment and accountability, they are vital partners to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In this context, UNCDF, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Government of Uganda have co-hosted a side-event on the margins of the 70th UN General Assembly to identify innovative models which can strengthen the capacity, governance, service delivery, and financial ability of local governments to meet the SDGs.
UNCDF Executive Secretary, Ms. Judith Karl noted how “societies and economies cannot undergo transformation – and cannot meet the SDGs – without utilizing the comparative advantage of local governments.”
“The SDGs are a true revolution as they are global and have been widely consulted,” said Mr. Khalifa Sall, Mayor of Dakar. “Until now global goals were done without local governments. We are able and ready to make this change,” he added.
The event was also an occasion to discuss possible ways to make those models available to local government authorities in secondary cities, peri-urban and rural areas, especially in the Least Developed Countries.
“We need to work together with all levels of governments and make sure that we shape agendas locally in consultation with citizens. The top down approach is no longer possible” said Ms. Célestine Ketcha Courtes, Mayor of Bagante, Cameroon.
During the event, UNCDF launched its Municipal Finance programme, designed to increase the ability of local governments in LDCs to address key urbanization challenges - such as basic service delivery, climate change adaptation and food security - through access to sustainable sources of capital financing. “UNCDF new Municipal programme is an innovative initiative, which will help local authorities take their local investment plans and turn them into viable projects that can attract a critical volume of public and private investment for local infrastructure development and service delivery,” said UNCDF Executive Secretary.