Transforming from the Bottom-Up: Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) Highlight Their Critical Role to Ensure a Sustainable Future for All in UN75 Vision Report

LRGs voice the urgent need to recover better and build back stronger after the pandemic and identify decentralised cooperation and a multilateral system that listens to local actors as a key factor for success.

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On October 8th, the virtual event for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN75) brought together LRG- and UN-representatives to discuss the findings of the reports “The Future We Want, The UN We Need – Update on the Work of the Office on the Commemoration of the UN’s 75th Anniversary” and the “Visioning Report UN75”. The event was broken down into three sessions, with the last event, the “Third Local and Regional Governments Forum on the 2030 Agenda: The Decade of Action – Bolstering Change from the Ground-up”, addressing LRG’s contributions and perspectives on current and future challenges. 

Being at the forefront of not only implementing the 2030 Agenda but fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to community needs at the same time, LRGs demanded a seat at the global intergovernmental table. Participants underlined the need for a future UN that includes their innovations and ideas by giving UCLG an observer status and establishing a UN General Assembly of Local Governments. Developing a multilateral system that includes co-creation with local stakeholders and international solidarity to catalyse a sustainable and resilient Decade of Action was one of the participants key demands in response to both reports. 

The participants shared their immediate as well as long-term priorities as identified in the report with a focus on environmental protection, access to basic services, gender equality, localisation of the international 2030 agenda and inclusion of habitat and housing rights on the global agenda. Stressing that the achievement of these priorities is dependant on the support of local governments, decentralisation and local economic development, the need for a renewed UN system that directly engages LRGs was underscored once more. Naming LRGs as a key requirement to achieve the report’s vision of addressing inequality and development deficits, participants argued that local governments can understand and respond most adequately to community needs to ensure that no one is left behind.

Find the detailed suggestions and recommendations of LRGs here.