High-level Policy Dialogue on Municipal Finance

  • April 05, 2018

  • New York, USA

  • What:

    High-level Policy Dialogue on Municipal Finance

  • When:

    9 April 2018,

    9:00am - 5:30pm

    Local Time (GMT+1)

  • Where:

    Málaga, Spain

  • Who:

    UN Capital Development Fund, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), City of Málaga

Repurposing Municipal Finance: Towards a Financial Ecosystem for Municipalities that Meets the SDG Challenge

The objective of the event is to build a coalition that will advocate for, and achieve, the repurposing of municipal finance towards a financial ecosystem for municipalities that meets the SDG challenge.

This global coalition, led by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), believes that the challenge of municipal finance is fundamental to the SDGs (and indeed to our survival on the planet). The coalition will promote 4 or 5 global policy goals necessary to unlock finance for cities. These include issues of public accounting on national debt, issues on pooled financing and also asset allocation strategies of institutional investors. The coalition will include a network of cities and financial institutions that are showing what can be done. The coalition will elevate municipal financing from a niche to a mainstream issue. It will not be delivered through new projects or initiatives but will be delivered by sustained advocacy through existing channels and structures. Coalition members will be united by a common purpose and a common understanding.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will convene a meeting of the coalition each year, hosted by the Ayuntamiento de Malaga. The event will nourish the advocacy efforts by showcasing innovations in municipal finance and by identifying the financial mechanisms and regulatory reforms required. UNCDF will deploy its sub-sovereign and municipal financial instruments and technical assistance, together with partners such as Fonds Mondial de Développement des Villes (FMDV) and Cities Alliance to design, test and invest in innovations in municipal finance in a way that leads to their scale up and replication by central governments, development banks, pension funds and commercial banks. Together, the advocacy and innovation of the coalition will forge a new financial ecosystem for municipalities.

The High-Level Dialogue brings together mayors, government ministers, development banks and commercial banks to define what is required for a financial ecosystem conducive to municipalities:

  • the paradigm shift required in municipal finance to make it central to the implementation of the SDGs;
  • the policy reforms required;
  • the innovations and actions required around expanding financial tools and capital available for local governments to bridge their financing gaps.

The meeting is structured around four roundtables. Many distinguished, experienced and knowledgeable participants will attend and the quality of dialogue will be high. The discussants at each round table are requested to open the conversation with short, concise remarks that stimulate conversation. Participants will then be requested to respond to the remarks from the discussant. Participants are requested to bring their ideas, experience, enthusiasm and energy and contribute thoughts on building a financial ecosystem conducive for municipalities and local governments. Chatham House rules will apply during the dialogue sessions. A statement will be agreed and released following the meeting. Outside the formal sessions a communications team will be interviewing selected participants “on the record” for publication.



Background Document


9.00 am – 10.15 am | Opening and Keynote Speech

10.15 am – 11.30 am | Roundtable 1 Municipal Finance: The Local Government Perspective This roundtable will identify the strategic challenges the municipalities face in financing their development and then focus on some practical suggestions for meeting these challenges, including regulatory reforms and access to capital markets.

11.30 am – 11.45 am | Coffee break

11.45 am – 1.00 pm | Roundtable 2 Municipal Finance: The Central Government Viewpoint This roundtable will analyze the issues national governments face in supporting local governments and then look at what possibilities exist to increase the local fiscal space through greater local access to capital markets and private sector finance. It will also identify some of the potential risks involved.

1.00 pm – 2.15 pm | Lunch

2.15 pm – 3.30 pm | Roundtable 3 Municipal Finance: The Financial Institution’s Outlook This roundtable will identify how financial institutions view sub sovereign finance and what constraints they currently face in financing municipal investments and municipal sponsored PPPs. It will then sketch out how these constraints could be overcome in the long term and what quick wins could be pursued to illuminate the path forwards.

3.30 pm – 3.45 pm | Coffee Break

3.45 pm – 5.30 pm | Roundtable 4 Pulling the Coalition Together: City, National and Financial Sector Actors This session will establish the basis of a coalition that will advocate for, and achieve, the repurposing of municipal finance towards a financial ecosystem for municipalities to achieve the SDGs. It will identify a shortlist of key policy questions to be resolved and the priority reforms that could be piloted or tested. It will conclude with a discussion, involving the audience, on where the coalition would be by this time next year.

5.45 pm | Depart from Hotel Miramar and transfer to Hotel Barceló

8.45 pm | Pick up in the lobby of Hotel Barceló and transfer to the City Hall of Málaga (Gala dinner venue)

9.00 pm – 11.00 pm | Gala Dinner at Malaga City Hall

11.00 pm | Transfer to Hotel Barceló

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Nan Zhang


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High-level Policy Dialogue on Municipal Finance

9 Apr 2018 @ 9:00am - 5:30pm

High-level Policy Dialogue on Municipal Finance